Dr. theol. (Tartu)


Academic Royale des Sciences, des Lettres

et des Beaux-Arts de Belgique

Academic Internationale Libre des Sciences

et des Lettres, Paris












Published by the Estonian Theological Society in Exile


All communications and orders are to be addressed to

Dean Jakob Aunver, Marmorvägen 7 A, 5 tr., Uppsala, Sweden


Dean Aleksander Hinno, 7-03 147th Street

Whitestone, N. Y., 11357, USA







1. - A. VÖÖBUS, Celibacy, a Requirement for Admission to Baptism in the Early Syrian Church. 1951.

2. - A. VÖÖBUS, Die Spuren eines alteren athiopischen Evangelien-textes im Lichte der literarischen Monumente. 1951.

3. - A. VÖÖBUS, Neue Angaben über die textgeschichtlichen Zustande in Edessa vom Jahre ca 326-340. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des altsyrischen Tetraevangeliums. 1951.

4. - A. VÖÖBUS, Zur Geschichte des altgeorgischen Evangelientextes. 1953.

5. - A. VÖÖBUS, Neue Materialien zur Geschichte der Vetus Syra in den Evangelienhandschriften. 1953.

6. - A. VÖÖBUS, Early Versions of the New Testament. Manuscript Studies: Oriental texts and facsimile plates of Syriac, Armenian, Georgian, Coptic, Ethiopic and Arabic manuscripts. 1954.

7. - Charisteria Johanni Kõpp octogenario oblata. A volume of theological and historical studies published in honor of Archbishop Dr. J. Kõpp on the occasion of his 80th birthday. 1954.

8. - A. VÖÖBUS, Quelques observations litteraires et historiques sur la vie syriaque inédite de Mar Aha. 1955.

9. - A. VÖÖBUS, Peschitta und Targumim des Pentateuchs. Neues Licht zur Frage der Herkunft der Peschitta aus den altpalästinischen Targumim. Handschriftenstudien. 1958.

10. - A. VÖÖBUS, Literary-Critical and Historical Studies in Ephrem the Syrian. 1958.

11. - A. VÖÖBUS, Syriac and Arabic Documents Regarding Legislation Relative to Syrian Asceticism: Syriac, Arabic and Karshuni texts edited, translated and furnished with literary-historical introductions. 1960.

12. - A. VÖÖBUS, The Statutes of the School of Nisibis: the Syriac text edited, translated and furnished with a literary-historical commentary. 1962.

13. - I. Paulson, Himmel und Erde in der Agrarreligion der finnischen Völker. 1963.

14. - A. VÖÖBUS, The Department of Theology at the University of Tartu: its Life and Work, Martyrdom and Annihilation. A Chapter of Contemporary Church History in Estonia. 1963.

15. - Estonia Christiana. Eximio Domino Johanni Kõpp nonaginta annos feliciter explenti discipuli congratulantes dedicaverunt. 1965.

16. - A. VÖÖBUS, Liturgical Traditions in the Didache. 1967.

17. - A. VÖÖBUS, The Prelude to the Lukan Passion Narrative. Tradition-, Redaction-, Cult-, Motif-Historical and Source-Critical Studies. 1968

18. - A. VÖÖBUS, Studies in the History of the Estonian People: With Reference to Aspects of Social Conditions, in Particular, the Religious and Spiritual Life and the Educational Pursuit I. 1969.

19. - A. VÖÖBUS, Studies in the History of the Estonian People: With Reference to Aspects of Social Conditions, in Particular, the Religious and Spiritual Life and the Educational Pursuit II. 1970.

20. - A. VÖÖBUS, Discoveries of Very Important Manuscript Sources for the Syro-Hexapla: Contributions to the Research on the Septuagint. 1970.

21. -A. VÖÖBUS, The Discovery of Very Important Manuscript Sources for the Syro-Roman Lawbook: The Opening of a New Epoch of Research in This Unique Monument of Jurisprudence. 1971.

22. -A. VÖÖBUS, The Hexapla and the Syro-Hexapla: Important Discoveries for Septuagint Research. 1971.

23. - A. VÖÖBUS, On the Historical Importance of the Legacy of Pseudo-Macarius: New Observations about its Syriac Provenance. 1972.

24. - A. VÖÖBUS, Discoveries of Great Import on the Commentary on Luke by Cyril of Alexandria: The Emergence of New Manuscript Sources for the Syriac Version. 1973.

25. - A. VÖÖBUS, Discovery of the Exegetical Works of Mose bar Kepha: The Unearthing of Very Important Sources for the Exegesis and History of the New Testament Text in the Version of the Vetus Syra. 1973.

26. - A. VÖÖBUS, Studies in the History of the Estonian People: With Reference to Aspects of Social Conditions, in Particular, the Religious and Spiritual Life and the Educational Pursuit III. 1974.

27. - A. VÖÖBUS, Discovery of the Remains of Acts in the Old Syriac Version (in preparation).

28. - A. VÖÖBUS, New Important Manuscript Discoveries for the History of Syriac Literature. With facsimile plates (in press).

29. - A. VÖÖBUS, Syriac Manuscripts from the Treasury of the Monastery of Mar Hananya or Deir Za'faran (in preparation).

30. - A. VÖÖBUS, Notes on Syriac Manuscripts in Unknown Collections in the Syrian Orient I (in preparation).

31. - A. VÖÖBUS, History of Syriac Literature I (in preparation).


1. -A. VÖÖBUS, The Communist Menace, the Present Chaos and our Christian Responsibility. 1955.

2. - I. PAULSON, Religiooni olemusest ja ajaloost. Vom Wesen und aus der Geschichte der Religion. 1963.

3. -A. VÖÖBUS, Christian Conscience in the Face of the Current Confusion: The Dignity of the Christian vis-a-vis the Sovietization of Minds (in press).







------------------- 26 -------------------



















Dr. theol. (Tartu)


Academic Royale des Sciences, des Lettres

et des Beaux-Arts de Belgique

Academic Internationale Libre des Sciences

et des Lettres, Paris





Wetteren, Belgium



It is a matter of deep regret that after the publication of the first two volumes the publication of the remainder had to be interrupted. Difficulties emerged beyond the control of the author: these were so great that a postponement for an indefinite period of time was necessitated. Moreover, these problems even threatened all hope of bringing the remaining part of the work to realization. Needless to say, all this has caused to the author deep concern and worry.

That the publication of this volume is now possible, thus bringing another part of the total project as envisioned to fruition, is due to un-expected aid and assistance. In sending off this volume from my hands, I gratefully think of the help without which this volume would not have passed its birth-pangs at all. Here I express my deepest gratitude to all these persons who came to my assistance.

In the first place I think of a fellow Estonian, a graduate of the University of Tartu, now living in exile in Australia, Mr. K., who wishes to remain anonymous. To him belongs the merit to have rescued the fate of this volume in a critical stage so that the composition of it could continue. For his noble attitude and generous help I express my deepest admiration.

That the volume could be brought forth from a long standstill and now be published, I owe, besides the same anonymous benefactor, gratitude for their substantial assistance to the Estonian community in Vancouver, Canada, namely the Estonian Church Foundation, the Estonian Society, and the St. Peter's Estonian Lutheran Congregation, and to the Estonian Lutheran Congregation in Los Angeles, California. Further I also owe gratitude to the Samuel Kook Memorial Foundation of the Fraternity Sakala for the honor of becoming the first recipient of the grant on the solemn occasion of the 65th anniversary of this academic fraternity. And still further, I owe gratitude to Mr. Hans Lill of Indianapolis for his readiness to foster the enterprise through his personal involvement and commitment. The way they acted and stretched out their warm hand to me in my pressing worries, has deeply touched my heart.

Some other contributions were made by the Estonian Credit Union in Toronto, Canada, and by some personal friends.

Thus, all these worries which even had compelled me to abandon the plans to publish this volume have ended with elation caused by unexpected assistance and warm hands of help. It gives me deep satisfaction to know that all these benefactors can see their reward in the materialization of another part in the total project as envisioned. This enlivens my hopes that also the edition of the fourth (attainment of freedom and the period of independence) and the fifth volume (the present occupation and the Estonian life in exile) may be materialized.

It remains to remember the aid received in preparing this volume. My disciple Dr. W. Freitag has examined the English of my manuscript. This he has done with great care in the spirit of unfailing kindness. I wish to extend to him a warm word of gratitude.

Last but not least, I wish to pay tribute to my wife for all her selfless work given also to these volumes. Due to the ongoing reductions and abridgements which became inevitable, she has typed the manuscripts of these volumes over and over many times. Not only this, but it has also been with self-sacrifice that she has shared with me all the frustrations, worries and difficulties which this undertaking has brought with it. Her inner luster of cheerfulness and the resourcefulness of her spirit have played a very important part in the materialization of all these volumes.


October 1974 A. VÖÖBUS







The Swedish reign assumed responsibility for the welfare of the church. Some rulers took this task more seriously than others but a special place belongs to Gustavus II Adolphus and Carl XI. The vestiges of their endeavors run deep.

When the Swedish crown took Estonia under its jurisdiction the state of the clergy was chaotic. For example, there were only five Lutheran pastors in the rural parishes of South Estonia (1). Besides this great scarcity, the religious level of the pastors was very low (2) - the situation spiritually and ethically (3) was deplorable (4). The Swedish rule began to heal the wounds and to provide the widowed parishes with pastors. The care it took bore fruit quickly (5). Within a relatively short time,

(1) 'Relation', in: Baltische Monatsschrift LVII (1904), p. 456f.

(2) In the estimate of the pastors in Livonia by Axel Oxenstierna,

it is stated that he found men among them unfit even to be janitors

of stables, G. O. F. WESTLING, 'Om det rel. och sedl. tillståndet:

Estland 1561-1710', in: Kyrklig Tidskrift III (1897), p. 353ff.

(3) The estimate given in 1599 about the pastors in North Estonia

is very damaging - they were behaving as men thinking that there

is no God, R. WINKLER, Der estlandische Landkirchenvisitator

David Dubberch (Reval 1909), p. 48. Cf. WESTLING, Bidrag till

Livlands kyrkohistoria 1621-1656, p. 22ff.

(4) There were pastors who had no idea of what the Christian religion

means and their life was comparable to that of a senseless animal

(oskäliga djur), R. LILJEDAHL, Svensk förvaltning i Livland,

1617-1634 (Uppsala 1933), p. 384.

(5) Whereas there were 5 pastors in Livonia in 1622, there were

nearly 40 in 1630, cf. 'Relation'.




the cadre of clergymen needed were ready for service. The University of Tartu made its contribution in this respect (1).

This work of healing was the more remarkable since it was not spared catastrophic setbacks. The war with Russia (1656-61) visited a calamity upon people and church. The Russian hordes destroyed a great number of churches, parsonages and other ecclesiastical establishments. Those which were left standing by the 'ruthless Russians' were in miserable condition; pastors were murdered, others compelled to flee the country. The wounds inflicted upon the life and soul of the people were severe (2). So ravaged were they, so reduced in stature and state, they could not support pastors. Much effort and time had to be given to curative work and to educating clergy for the vacant parishes. All plans to unite the ecclesiastical administration of North and South Estonia were abandoned. Leadership of the first area remained in the hands of a bishop and of the second in those of a superintendent, a circumstance which was not only unfortunate but also a hindrance to the development of ecclesiastical affairs.

The efforts to consolidate the structure of the church were many. The work of a number of able leaders contributed however gradually toward this end. This constructive work was hampered by the Baltic German squires who wanted to have a part in the direction of the ecclesiastical affairs. This was the situation at the time of the Swedish assumption of power. The leadership of the upper consistory was in the hands of the squires. When this situation was changed quarrels and obstructions were initiated by the squires. Their tactics were so annoying that they paralyzed the work.

Reorganization was to embrace the parishes as well. In the interest of improving pastoral work, the old system of parish boundaries was taken under consideration. The exorbitant extension of the territories of the parishes had become a problem of serious proportions in carrying out ecclesiastical work. As the sources show, the churches were built upon locations to suit the convenience of the estate owners. Thus they were often not accessible to all the parishioners. Since the pastors had no assistant pastors, they could not adequately carry out their duties. The instructions of Carl XI regarding the propositions made by Super-

1 See page 41ff

2 People returned once more to Catholicism or to their own religion;

the situation was so serious that special steps had to be taken to bring

this trend to a halt.




intendent-General J. Fischer ordered the dividing of the large parishes, making the filial churches independent, and establishing chapels and filial churches to be served with the help of assistant pastors. In reality, only a part of these plans was materialized. The resistance of the squires caused serious difficulties. More was accomplished by direct pressure put on the squires in South Estonia by the crown.

Great were the investments the Swedish rule put forth to enliven the niveau of the pastors. It must have been a thorough task judging from all the means it chose to accomplish this purpose. Powerful personalities in the leadership relentlessly tightened their grip to keep the pastors under surveillance and control; these were men like Bishop C. M. Agricola (1), bishop's deputy D. Dubberch (2), and J. Ihering (3) in North Estonia (4), and Superintendent H. Samson (5) who vivified the visitations and synods and directed the affairs with firmness and vision (6). J. Gezelius (7) was especially diligent in visitations (8); particularly so was J. Fischer to whom all Livonia was given (9) and who was appointed superintendent-general in 1678. He was one of the ablest church leaders of Estonia. Through the media of regulations, synods, convocations, visitations (10) and the system of administration from the consistories to the deans, the sense of the dignity of the office, the sacredness of their responsibilities and the commensurate behavior in life were instilled (11)

1 1584-86.

2 Visitator (1584-1603). About his 'Processus visitationis', see WINKLER,

Der estlandische Landkirchenvisitator David Dubberch, p. 1ff.

3 See vol. II, p. 169ff.

4 Concerning the ecclesiastical situation, see R. KOOLMEISTER, 'Zur

Frage nach dem Verhaltnis zwischen dem Domkapitel zu Uppsala und der

Kirche in Estland', in: Estonia Christiana, p. 131ff.

5 Superintendent 1622-43.

6 His 'Relatio' presented to the king in 1630; 'Relation' in: Baltische

Monatsschrift LVII (1904), p. 455ff.

7 Superintendent 1660-64.

8 Die livlandische Kirchenordnung des Johannes Gezelius, hrsg. von

A. LEHTONEN (Helsinki 1931).

9 After the death of Georg Preussius (1665-75) who was superintendent of

South Estonia.

10 These visitations were continued by their successors. KELCH, Liefländische

Historien, Continuation, p. 583f. describes the procedure of such a visitation in

detail. This took place by Bishop Salemann in Viru-Jakobi in July 1698.

11 See page 17ff.




It was an advantage for the clergy under the Swedish rule that those Baltic German pastors who had wider horizons and a deeper sense of their calling were encouraged, given assistance and a place of service among the people - an activity that was possible only under the protecting arm of the Swedish crown. But it was also salutary under this rule for candidates of other nationalities, Swedes, Finns, a. o. to be allowed to enter the clergy - to bring to this group a deeper spirit, a more humane understanding and a greater openmindedness to the signs of time (1)

The work of reorganization was supplemented by another factor which was a by-product of politico-economic reform in 1680-88, namely, the reversion of estates to the crown (2). The effects of this act were deep for they terminated the right of the patron, or the jurisdiction of estate owners over the parish and the pastor. This reform brought the greater part of the clergy under the jurisdiction of the crown. In this way, the arbitrary influence of the squires contrary to the vital interests of the parish shrank. On the other hand, the influence of the king was greatly increased. The crown could carry out its reforms with greater effect: to make filial churches independent, to found new filial units to repair the buildings, and to favor the pastors born in the country and who needed little time to polish the language. Other undertakings in the interest of the church could also be fostered.

The crowning effect of these endeavors in administration, carried out by a number of outstanding leaders, can be seen in the new church law (3) After long preparation it finally was brought to its completion in 1686 (4). Regardless of the opposition and obstruction of the squires and of their lamentations that the new law was unsuitable for conditions in the Baltic lands, the king remained adamant and put it into effect retorting that it was not the business of the squires to interfere with these affairs. The new law gave the upper consistory a purely clerical

1 That as the result of all these efforts the respect for the pastors began

to grow among the people, is reflected by the comments included in a

calendar of the end of the 17th century. ' Ein staatskalendar aus dem

Ende des 17. Jahrhunderts mit Nachrichten über Ostseeprovinzen',

herausgeben von F. VON KEUSSLER, in: SBGGaltOR (1914), p. 385f.

2 J. VASAR, Die grosse livländische Güterreduktion (Tartu 1930-31)


3 G. O. F. WESTLING, 'Kirchengesetz und Kirchengesetzarbeiten

in Ehstland zur Zeit schwedischen Herrschaft', in: Beiträge zur Kunde

Ehst-, Liv- und Kurlands V (1896), p. 39ff, 131ff.

4. Printed in 1687; translated into German 1689




character. The sub-consistories were eliminated and their functions divided between the civil administration and the deaneries. The patronal jurisdiction of the squires was removed by the reduction of the estates since almost all the pastorates fell under the crown.

With its promulgation (1), a unifying factor was introduced (2), intended to bring ecclesiastical conditions in North Estonia, South Estonia and Saaremaa together.

The Swedish period is characterized by a steady and persistent pursuit towards consolidation of the church. It was put on a more solid footing and it was continually being improved in efficient operation. With regard to the reorganization of the church insofar the ultimate character of the church is concerned, there was, in fact, no change - the church remained a church of the overlords. Whereas the Baltic German ruling class and the squires had previously ruled over it, now it was the king with the apparatus of his administration. Nevertheless, seen from another aspect, the reorganization meant a vital change. This has been adjudged as something worse - as an outgrowth of the possession by absolutistic power which degraded (3) the church of the land (4). But since the church earlier had sunk to the lowest level at the hands of the squires, it is difficult to see in what sense degradation can even come into account. What is lower than the lowest? The truth is that vis a vis the work of the church this absolutistic power was entirely different from the type of absolutistic power represented by the squires. That the church received orders and instructions is not a novelty as our analysis of the historical process has revealed, but the novelty lies in this: that these orders and instructions created conditions which allowed the church to free itself from the ruinous influence of the squires, stimulated the church to pursue its own calling, taught it to discover the needs of the people in their spiritual

1 In 1690.2 Yet some changes were allowed in the interest of the church tradition in North

Estonia and South Estonia. Thus in 1694, the new law became effective with some


3 The contention is that the church of the land was degraded to a state of

a provincial church which the king commanded in the same way as the army,

H. STÄHLIN, 'Die Vertassung der livlandischen Landeskirche 1622 bis 1832',

in: Zeitscrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte LII, Kanonistische

Abteilung XXI (1932), p. 289ff.

4 See also A. WESTRÉN-DOLL, 'Die schwedische Zeit in Estland und Livland',

in: WITTRAM, Baltische Kirchengeschichte, p. 100f.




and intellectual life. Such an atmosphere must be regarded as an infinitely healthier one.

That this is so is confirmed by the fact that the people began to change their attitude. Not only in respect to a growing appreciation on their part, but also by their increasing cooperation and participation in order to deepen the life which the church had engendered (1).



With regard to the institution of helpers from the indigenous people, the Swedish period represents an advance. Before that time, peasants were called upon to fulfill duties akin to that of janitors. But now, a new situation developed the credit for which goes to the leadership of the church during that period. Bishop Agricola was among the first to sound the call for helpers from the peasantry in ecclesiastical work and Christian instruction. He urged the selection of boys who could be sent to the school. The same demand appears in the draft of the visitation order of Dubberch to establish schools in which the sons of the indigenous people could be educated, and in which he offered his personal observation that he had found among the indigenous people good talent (2). This was to establish schools to which the indigenous people could send their youth for education. They were to then tackle the deeper needs of the people as a cadre of spiritual leadership in order to vivify the ecclesiastical work and Christian instruction.

J. Ihering reiterated the same demand, namely, to introduce the institution of the sextons prepared for the task of instructing the youth in prayer, reading and writing and of directing the congregation in singing (3).

Efforts such as these were also expended upon the same endeavor in South Estonia. The upper consistory, founded in 1634, tackled the task of including the institution of the sextons into its program: if no Germans were ready for this work, indigenous people could be inducted for this task. The plans were submitted to the Diet (4). Thereby the

1 See page 17ff.

2 See vol. II, p. 164f.

3 The execution of the order had to be checked by visitations, Ms. Acta

visitationis, June 28, 1638, Livonica II: 618, Riksarkivet, Stockholm.

4 In view of the deplorable procrastination in progress, the upper consistory

was compelled to make a proposal directly to the Diet in 1650 to the effect

that every church had to have a sexton who knows the indigenous as well as

the German




illumined leadership in the church recognized in principle the need for the vivification of the church through the helpers from the people of the country. This was an encouragement for those who had aspirations in that direction - the creation of the indigenous spiritual leadership.

The difficulties were enormous. These difficulties as well as the problems in the other areas all had a common root - the indifference of the landlords in regard to the church. Since the financial foundation of these undertakings rested with the patron squires and landlords, the outlook for improvement in ecclesiastical work was foreboding if not downright illusory. Where there was no vigilant surveillance, the decision remained captive on paper. Consequently, any hope that certain selected persons could be given responsibility for elementary instruction collapsed. However, where sextons could be finally appointed, instruction in the Christian religion finally went into the hands of men who could talk to the people as one of them. Knowing their people, their language, mentality and needs, these men stirred up a new ferment

which entered into the life of the church (1). Not only this, cases began to increase where the congregations benefitted from these men even more - in the face of the tremendous pursuit in the educational sphere.

Towards the end of the Swedish period, new impetus appeared in connection with the tireless efforts for improvement by J. Fischer. He was allowed to see part of his vision of preparing the future sextons and teachers for the vivification of the church work come to realization. The 'pauper' schools which were founded in the towns opened opportunities for youth eager to assume these tasks. Far more important in this respect were the efforts connected with the name of B. G. Forselius (2). The efforts put into the folk school (3) have had a salutary effect upon the institution of sextons (4). This concentration of effort in the last period produced results which became increasingly visible.

language and who was able to assist the pastor in instructing the youth.

The superintendent and the deans were obliged to use the visitations in

order to influence the squires to respect the demand. This ordinance was

promulgated by the governor-general. See the statement by J.M.G. de la

Gardie of May 8, 1650, Livonica II:231.

1 Cf. also M. J. EISEN, Eesti prohvet Järve Jaan. Rootsiaegsed eesti köstrid

(Tartu 1918); ct. JbEstnPG I (1922), p. 41ff.

2 See page 27ff.

3 See page 30ff.

4 How direct the impact was can be seen from the decision of the Diet of

Livonia which had to accept the proposal by Governor-General Hastfer - at every

church a sexton had to be appointed who could at the same time serve as a teacher.




At the end of the Swedish era, sextons were in office almost everywhere. Still more, this cadre appears as constantly improving its qualifications. Thus in this institution we have to do with a ferment which had a bearing upon the growth of ecclesiastical, spiritual, and educational sphere; particularly since it was matching the endeavors on the part of the people in the same direction.

In this connection it should be mentioned that the introduction of Swedish church law (1) with additional resolutions necessitated by the adaptation of this law to the local conditions, aimed at the improvement of the religious and moral niveau. The law required in addition to a more diligent proclamation of the gospel from the pulpits and a better pastoral service, the deepening of catechization among the people. The fact that indigenous sons of the country were permitted to offer their service to the institution contributed much to the role and significance of the sextons among the people.



The Swedish rule used its arm to impose church discipline by force. Attendance at services was made obligatory and neglect was punishable. Rigid discipline was introduced to wean people away from the deviate religious and ethical practices. Drastic means had to be used to press through the acceptance of the Lutheran confessions and the observance of ecclesiastical practice. This pressure was required to overcome the remains of still strong catholic beliefs, especially in South Estonia. This is understandable when one takes the counter-Reformation under the Polish rule (2) into account. The claim to be adherents of the 'old belief' or of the 'Polish faith' often makes itself audible in the sources. Such sentiments increased the indifference towards the Reformation. Apart from these difficulties, it was very hard to get over the deep mistrust of the institution of the church. Much of its penal code was of dubious value for a people able to judge the activities of the church for themselves. The clearer heads among them saw much hypocrisy in the double standards of the church, one rigid and drastic for the peasants and the1 The Swedish church law was introduced in North Estonia in 1692 and

in Livonia in 1694.

2 See vol. II, p127ff.




other, easy and lenient for the squires and freed men (1). Everyone knew that the landlords were guilty of compelling their serfs to break the Sunday through works, additional duties of transport a.o., by establishing taverns near the churches to take their income, to seriously interfere with worship, and to engage in other activities quite inimical to the work and life of the church (2). All could see that the hard ecclesiastical discipline was not something for them - they could not have cared less for it except as it was applied to others. That, they were prepared to support. Thus, demands and instructions were repeatedly issued by the church authorities supported by the administrative forces to put pressure on the tired and exploited peasantry, hammering incessantly at their small mistakes, slips, lapses and self-forgetting joys in the taverns - these were not to go unpunished. On the contrary, punishment was to be the more severe.

The order of church penalties issued in 1641 imposed very heavy punishments on transgressors. It included, in addition to other forms of punishment and fines, means of public humiliation (3), shaming (4) and bodily punishment. For scourging special stakes (5) were erected before the churches and the strong men who held pastoral care in their hands demanded that a man be appointed at every church to mete out these strokes. An explanation given in connection with the church law of 1686 dealt with the means set up to punish the poor, vexed and tired human wrecks of serfdom who came in conflict with the church: they were to be punished by imprisonment on the estates of the squires or by being locked into a block at the entrance of the church for public abasement. If this were not enough, a new imprisonment followed in the estates of the squires; whatever shreds of integrity still remained in these human beings under the burdens of work and labor, was flayed to the limit by the incessant scourge of additional labor and punishment.

1 So Bishop J. Helvigius, the consistory and the clergy of North Estonia,

'Desideria', Livonica II: 33, Riksarkivet, Stockholm.

2 The complaint expressed in the same Desideria.

3 Shame pews were established in the churches for this purpose where

the culprit had to sit or kneel.

4 At the entrance blocks were placed where the accused ones were locked

with their hands and feet.

5 Special stakes were erected at least 100 feet from the church for corporeal

punishment by whips.




Church discipline did not deal only with slips, lapses and transgressions. It stuck its nose into the lives of these little men prescribing dress, the number of guests permissible at their gatherings and family reunions and other similar matters.

The Swedish practice of ecclesiastical discipline and regimentation of life with its penalty system, so intrusive in its character, produced some very strange consequences. One repulsive phenomenon which issued forth was that of witch hunting. In fact, on occasion, it became a mania (1). The penalties meted out to those who could not escape prosecution were brutal. The punishment was burning at the stake. The Swedish administration did nothing to put an end to these many lawsuits which took place in Estonia. Many human beings were sent to the stake to be burned alive.

Superintendent H. Samson gave a cycle of sermons in the cathedral of Riga in 1626 on the subject of witches and witchcraft (2). According to his proposal, he wanted to limit the burning alive of witches by distinguishing categories (3). These ghastly lawsuits with their executions continued (4) throughout the period with but one difference, namely, that towards the end of the Swedish period decapitation by the sword took place with the burning of the body (5).

The church attempted to acquaint the people with the Lutheran confessions, particularly the catechism. It was deeply involved in this undertaking. This task was made a norm in the visitation order of D. Dubberch. He fixed the chapters of the catechism to be read in the worship service, the text to be repeated and the discussion to be followed

(1) The documents which have laid down the records of these proceedings

reveal its extent. See a cycle of documents of court proceedings, between 1615

and 1618, 'Hexen und Zauberer in Reval 1615-1618', in: Beiträge zur Kunde

Ehst-, Liv- und Kurlands II (1874), p. 330ff.

(2) H. SAMSON, Neun ausserlesene und wolgegründele Hexenpredigt... in

der Thumb Kirchen zu Riga offentlich gehalten (Riga 1626).

(3) Cf. also H. STAHL, Leyen Spiegel I-II (Reval 1641-49). His sermons

are overcrowded with the realm of demons; he demanded a merciless death

penalty for the aberrants of human species.

(4) Cf. the dissertation by V. Uuspuu, Nõiad ja nõiaprotsessid Eestis 17. ja 18.

sajandil (Tartu 1938), in manuscript.

(5) See the 'placat against paganism', issued in 1693; cl. Sammlung der Gesetze,

hrsg. VON BUDDENBROCK II, p. 1151ff. The same mania continued to live

forth, as reflected in the old Livonian law books; Die altlivländischen Bauern-

rechte, § 32,

33, ed. ARBUSOW, p. 60.


until the congregation began to grasp it. Controls upon this knowledge were introduced, particularly in connection with the confession preparatory to communion. Much of this had not been intelligible because of the linguistic inability of many pastors to understand what they heard. Most of it had become very mechanical. No wonder that the people preferred if possible to stay away from this, having good reason for suspicion - their experience had demonstrated it. It was simply another way for the church to burden them with obligation.

As the years passed catechetical instruction became an order which was constantly developed and refined (1). But confidence and willingness did not develop at the same pace. The results were accordingly below expectations (2). The catechetical instruction was extended to other gatherings in the villages and was connected with the examination. Hand in hand with the appearance of books and gradual growth in the knowledge of reading, more could be accomplished by the relentless effort invested in this undertaking. Nevertheless, as far as the people was concerned it bore the mark of something strange, external, demanding memorization often without inner understanding and too often without any understanding at all when carried out by pastors who could not speak the language of the people. The reasons for limited results were obvious for those able to see - 'extreme poverty', as the leadership and the clergy expressed it was indeed the real cause - it was the right name ironically enough (3).

An ordinance issued by the office of administration in 1691 for Saaremaa shows that the clergy had managed to secure the assistance of the power of the state: human beings who had hardly been allowed any time for themselves by the squires and who had been left no time for the memorization of the catechism were sorely treated. The officials were ordered to bring them to the church and to lock their hands and feet in the block; afterwards, a new period for memorization was assigned. If these measures did not suffice, heavier punishments followed (4).

1 Gathering of the people, a sermon on a topic to be discussed later,

catechism, explanation; the people had to explain as best they could

in their own words.

2 A longer treatment of the results, KÕPP, Kirik ja rahvas, p. 109ff.

3 Instruction of the upper consistory to Superintendent Stalenus in

1650, KÖRBER, Acta, p. 54ff.

4 Cf. KÖRBER, Bausteine, p. 287.




The church was voluntarily and involuntarily involved in the program of social reform which emanated from the crown to instill a humane atmosphere into the inhuman conditions of the indigenous people, and to limit injustice and exploitation by the squires as landlords. One must, however, be very circumspect in evaluating this concern. The sources call us to sobriety. Insofar as the Swedish period is concerned, only in a very restricted sense can one speak of real social concern.

Immediately the Swedish rule began with attempts to curtail torture, savagery, atrocity and all kinds of terror which peasants had to suffer under their Baltic German landlords. The decree of King Eric XIV characterizes this task: 'We have received creditable information about the extent to which the nobility allow some of their officials and magistrates by unchristian and wicked whipping to oppress and torture their poor peasants and subjects ... Therefore we order all our provincial governors, knights, noblemen, officials and magistrates and everybody who rules over such persons . . . that they henceforth fully and completely give up this habit and refrain from such unchristian tyrannical severity' (1). How difficult this task was, is illustrated by the answer given by the Baltic German squires, which is a classic example of their basic attitude and their typical arguments in justifying atrocities in their existing system: '. . . there are among them so many insolent scamps who must be kept in awe by adequate punishment, and unless the peasant people is constantly and frequently rendered pliant scarcely a year would pass without several hundred people more than usual being put to death in one manner or another. If, however, anybody deserving capital punishment happens to save and preserve his life, being flogged instead, he, forsooth, has every reason to praise such an order rather than complain about it' (2).

With the change of rule, the peasants had expected a change also their conditions. Since it was known to them that the peasants in Sweden enjoyed a far better situation (3) and even played a recognized


1 Issued on December 6, 1561.

2 Issued on July 10, 1562.

3 Unlike the rest of Europe, serfdom as an institution was virtually unknown

in the Scandinavian countries, ct. E. HECKSCHER, An Economic History of

Sweden (Cambridge 1954), p.29ff.




role in society (1), they naturally expected more humane treatment from the Swedish regime. In this expectation they were bitterly disappointed. The Swedish nobility (2) was characterized by the same indifference the peasants had learned to know so well. For the peasants the burdens were so heavy that cultivation of their own land was hindered. Furthermore, the taxes were so high that they often ate up whatever minute reserve was in hand (3). This comes to the fore in the significant datum that peasants able to do so fled to South Estonia which was under the Polish rule (4) - a fact which is very damaging to the rule of the Swedish squires.

No change took place before Gustavus II Adolphus took over the reins of the state. It can be said that during the first part of the Swedish rule, the indigenous people owed only one king special gratitude - Gustavus II Adolphus. He was the only one able to tame the squires, and to help the oppressed. Even his reforms encountered stubborn resistance from the insolent and lordly squires.

After the untimely death of Gustavus II Adolphus, the situation of the peasants hardly experienced any noteworthy change for the better. The Swedish squires were as little interested in the injustice and the plight of the peasants as the Baltic German squires had been. There was no strong hand to check the arbitrariness of the new landlords. There was really no interest in the removal of the inhuman conditions in the land when all the premises for change were extant, taking into account the fact that more than half of the cultivated land and of the peasants was in the hands of the Swedish squires. Thus, the Swedish rule did not stop the process of serfdom of the peas-

(1) In the 17th century the peasantry constituted a class of freeholders,

the 'fourth estate' of the realm; as such it had its own organized representation

in the parliament, ibid., p. 108.

(2) A corollary of the political growth of Sweden as a power was

the increase in the power of the nobility. While the power of the Vasa

dynasty had been supported in particular by the peasantry as a balance

against the nobility, now the nobility began to play a quite different role.

(3) O. LIIV, Die wirfschaffliche Lage des estnischen Gebietes am Anfang

des XVII Jahrhunderts I (Tartu 1935) = ÕEStoim XXVII, p. 304f.

4 The sources show us that flights of the peasants from North Estonia to

South Estonia were more frequent than in the other direction. In this respect

a letter by Bishop O. Schenking, written on June 4, 1615, is very instructive.

Cf. N. TREUMUTH - O. LIIV, Polonica im Estnischen Staatlichen Zentral-

archiv (Tartu 1931) = PEstSZ I, p. 71.




ants (1). In this respect the Swedish rule in comparison with reforms in other areas showed its inability to meet the most crucial issue.

These conditions lasted until a man of illumined conscience rose to the throne, a man who made the question of inhumanity and injustice a matter of his own. This man was Carl XI (1675-97). The humane attitude of this king impressed its stamp upon his era. He stands out in this respect - there is not much otherwise to report about improvement in the social area. His rule is characterized by a number of attempts in social reforms. They all reflect the concern of the warmhearted king to protect human beings deprived of their most elementary rights.

In the king's person a man of inner nobility and warmth, prompted by deep humane feelings, stands before us. He came out with a plan to free all who were held in the chains of slavery. We possess a document of mid-April, 1681 which unfolds the warmth which guided the thinking of this philanthropic man. He writes that it is strange that peasants in Estonia have to suffer under slavery. Instructions were given to his emissary to persuade the knighthood to free the slaves voluntarily. Should the nobles not comply, his will is that - regardless of all opposition - the slaves were to be freed on the estates of the state, and that no one is to treat the peasants in a different way than in Sweden (2). His proposition states the same: he had paid particular attention to this practice which was the custom among some peoples in their pagan period; and he had become determined to abolish the slavery under which the peasants had been suffering. He points out that when a human being left under the control and pleasure of another, this not only does incalculable damage to justice, but is also a very serious obstacle in the way of the growth of loyalty. Furthermore, such inhuman conditions kill interest in the work and land; one can expect great things for justice and general welfare only when such an inhuman and cruel system is abolished (3).

His clear and blunt statement caused a real pandemonium among the Baltic German squires. They fought against these plans with hands,

1 About the economic policy of the estates and their exploitation

of the peasantry, see A. SOOM, Der Herrenhof in Estland im 17

Jahrhundert (Lund 1954).

2 A letter written to R. Lichton, April 12, 1681. He was chairman

of the reduction commission.

(3) The royal proposition III, Die Rezesse der livländischen Landtage

aus den Jahren 1681 bis 1711 (Dorpat 1865), p. 19.



feet and teeth, like those about to lose the victim from the clutch of their claws. From their rich arsenal came all their own fabricated ' arguments' for the perpetuation of such cruelty: the indigenous people themselves obstinately desired to stay in slavery because they were unable otherwise to rid themselves of their 'evil nature' (1); freedom for the peasants would induce them to rebel and to commit crime; the peasants would flood the land with murder and blood not having abandoned their inborn hatred against their masters; with the abolition of slavery, all the privileges of the Baltic German ruling class would suffer (2).

What was set in operation was a frantic aggressiveness. Even the emissary of the king was influenced by their defense (3). Of course, arguments spoken through the mouth of his emissary did not move the king (4). However, the rebellion of the powerhungry squires did force forfeiture of humane ideas. The philanthropic and benevolent king did not capitulate but began to seek the tools to carry out his determination. This he did by setting up measures designed to protect the peasants against refined methods of extortion. One may say that even a system of such measures (5) was put into effect: open doors for the peasants (6); his personal protective decrees to peasants against injustice and violence (7); extraordinary and strong instructions sent to the governor-general (8), es-

1 About the characteristic Baltic German fabrication on the 'bosshaffte

Nathur' of the indigenous people who obstinately wish to be burdened

and disciplined by slavery, see ibid., p. 30f.

2 Ibid., p. 30f.

3 In his letter of August 9, 1681 to the king, Lichton stated his opinion

that abolition of slavery was dangerous in respect to the income of the

king and to the farming out of the state estates; he also adds that he cannot

conceal the fact that the indigenous people have a very rough nature,

and necessitating quick and rigid treatment if one is to keep them at their

duties, Livonica: 134, Riksarkivet, Stockholm.

4 The letter of the king to Lichton, written on September 11, 1681.

5 A special court was established to settle the complaints of the peasantry

against the landlords; the jurisdiction of the landlords in criminal matters

was abolished.

6 In several letters the king states that a crowd of Livonian peasants visited

him every day.

7 The king took the complaints and accusations of the peasants very seriously.

He gave them special letters of safe-conduct against further injustice and

oppression. Such a letter given to the peasants in Põltsamaa was written on

May 23, 1684.

8 A categorical order affirming that the injust treatment of peasants was

and remained forbidden was sent to Governor-General Horn, May 23, 1684

with the warning: whoever trespasses the order shall be thrown into the

dungeon of the castle of Riga until interrogation.


sivu ##016


tablishing a commission of far-reaching power (1) to investigate and settle the complaints of the peasants (2). This commission was given permanent (3) status (4). Further, agrarian reforms were introduced - the tenth was replaced by a fixed rent (5) and a new revision of land (6), every link in this system reflects the concern of the warmhearted king to protect human beings deprived of right. In his struggle with the squires in 1681, the king proposed to carry out a revision and re-assessment of the estates (7). The squires rejected this (8) but the reduction (9) was carried out (10). This undertaking (11) contributed to the clarification of the situation, but did not help the peasants.

The squires, however, knew how to prevent the means set up by the king. Under such circumstances the conditions of life of the peasants remained very hard (12). The yoke of serfdom cut deeply into their flesh. Conditions in some parts of the country were estremely miserable. A document which describes the conditions of the peasants in Saaremaa towards the end of the Swedish rule relates that the peasants were compelled to add so much straw and chaff to the grain for their bread that it was easier to burn their bread than to eat it, and that even dogs abhorred such a bread! (13)

(1) The quilty one was compelled to pay for the damage.

(2) Decisions wer final with no appeal.

(3) There were so many complaints that the commission could not finish

the work.

(4) Here also mention should be made of a new measure, namely

Swedish jurisprudece - See A. PERANDI, Das ordentliche Verfahren

in bürgerlichen Streitsachen vor dem estländischen Oberlandgericht

zur schwedischen Zeit (Tartu 1938) = AArchCEstVI, p. 253.

(5) The tenth was arbitrary and open to misuse by the landlords.

(6) A new revision took place in the year 1690 which fixed the relations

between the landlords and the peasants. These were not based on the

days the serfs had to put in relation to the size of the fields but on money.

(7) Die rezesse der livländischen Landtage, p. 18.

(8) Ibid, p.52ff.

(9) VASAR, Die grosse livländische Güterreduktion, 04ff.

(10) In Estonia about one-third, in Livonia about five-sixths of all privately

owned land was transferred to crown ownership, UUSTALU, The History

of the Estonian People, p. 83.

(11) It must be stated that the crown expected also greater income through

this action.

(12) Conditions of life of the country artisans became somewhat better;

see A. SOOM, Die landhandwerker in Estland im 17. Jahrhundert (Bonn

1957) = CommBalt III, 5, p. 37ff.

(13) A letter of December 12, 1699 written by C. von Stegeling, vice-precident

of the high court of justice of Livonia, Livonica II: 551.




Thus in conclusion, despite all the important reforms which the Swedish rule introduced, which proved to be fruitful in serving the life interests of the people, reforms which were loudly acclaimed as demonstrating a humanitarian and illumined rule, the fact remains that at the crucial juncture, namely the social conditions of the people, the Swedish rule failed completely. It retained the inhuman system thus reducing the effects of all other reforms severely. It began with reforms from the wrong end. This situation hindered the development of normal life. Moreover, by keeping the peasants in their previous conditions, when the years of crop failures arrived it threw the peasantry into a hunger catastrophe which passed its own authoritative verdict on the worth of the Swedish political wisdom proclaimed so loudly.



As investigation has shown the Swedish reign was an epoch which in many respects brought advancement not only in the ecclesiastical but also in the religious and spiritual domain. Its role created new premises for the church by freeing it from the control of the squires. Through reorganization, the church was reconstituted to function more adequately in this newly created situation. Through insistance on teaching (1), improvement of pastoral (2) work, the creation of literature (3) and the establishment of helpers (4) insofar as possible, efforts were made to enliven the institution. All this put life into a very nearly dead institution. A different church gradually emerged.

In this process it was not only the clergy who were freed from the ruinous influence of the squires. An essential premise for another change was also thereby created by way of response. The people began to change their attitudes toward the church. As a result, a new attitude began to break through the distrust, suspicion and indifference which the church had inculcated throughout the centuries. The sources reveal that the life created in the church found a response. An understanding of the church as a factor in the spiritual life began to emerge and grow among the people. Thus did they begin to cooperate with the ec-

1 See page 25ff.2 See page 1ff.3 See page 49ff.4 See page 6ff.



clesiastical authorities. Hand in hand with the development of the concern of the church for the spiritual welfare of the people, there occurred a growing appreciation of the people for spiritual work. More - they switched from a passive role to active interest. Since, however, the clergymen did not keep pace with the leadership at the helm of the church and were slow in implementing the new efforts, the congregations began to take the initiative, to take matters into their own hands in order to get pastoral service worthy of its name.

That the people did not only reveal understanding and appreciation but actively began to take steps towards the healing of the life of the church, is manifested in various ways. The records tell us that the people in the congregations demonstrated a readiness to act in very difficult situations. This appears in cases where they wanted to rid themselves of unworthy elements among the clergy, where the church authorities themselves could not, or did not, clean house. Such actions took a resolute turn at a number of places. In the determination of the people, a deeper understanding of the dignity of the pastoral office and the qualities of the shepherds of souls than the clergy were willing.

The case of the parish of Pühalepa (1) in 1687, is particularly instructive. Here the people acted resolutely in a dangerous situation. When a completely unworthy character, totally unfit for the pastoral office, had been imposed on the congregation, the people remained adamant in their negative judgement even when some of them were scourged on the estate and at the church in order to break their will. Although the fight was protracted and lasted for a long time, special investigating commissions finally arrived at the same judgement as the people and their efforts were crowned by success. Thanks to the initiative of the congregations, such investigating commissions were sent out to other places and the consistories were kept quite busy with similar cases. In this way, unworthy elements were weeded out.

Furthermore, the indigenous people began to take initiative in another direction, in order to improve the pastoral care extended them. The activity of the Estonian congregations comes to the fore in efforts to bring out their estimate, as well as propositions in the interest of a more meaningful functioning, of the church. This frequently took place with vigor and occasionally with great vehemence.

(1) In Hiiumaa




The most important issue centered on the question of language. It had to do with a very serious impediment. Foreigners wanted to keep the pastorates in their hands but they were not willing to do what was required for their pastoral work - to acquire the language of the people so they could employ it in preaching, instruction, and pastoral work. This disinterestedness was manifested for example by the lack of adequate materials. Rough copies were borrowed from others, copied and read. One can only imagine what was heard from the pulpits and given as instruction by men who did not know the language. If one thinks of the orthography of Stahl (1), one can form some idea how the language learned from these books sounded. It was bad enough that the people could not understand the pastors in the pulpit, but much worse in connection with catechetical instruction. Here the teaching of the adults as well as children made the question of language particularly acute. When the pastors wanted to proceed in the cheaper way, the congregations were fully justified in not accepting such standards: they were right to demand preachers able to speak their language or at least willing to learn it. The congregations began to insist that their pastors must know their language and must be able to teach the people in the Christian tradition. The church administration could not ignore this very legitimate demand and the issue began to move in the desired direction. As a consequence, the church administration began to intensify its attention on this matter. Surveillance over the pastors became stronger and the requirements were stiffened. Even tests were introduced (2). All this had a very salutary effect upon the clergymen who would not move on without prodding. In some deaneries the new standards were carried out quite strictly (3).

As the premises for more effective preaching and instruction were put on the agenda by the initiative of the congregations, so too was the issue of standards for the servants of the church. These involved moral qualities. In the ministerum there were too many men without

1 See page 53ff.

2 The theological candidates were sent to preach on the prescribed texts

before the Estonian congregations; pastors who knew the Estonian language

were required to check their knowledge of the language by conversation;

reports on linguistic knowledge were gathered from the congregations and


3 The dean of Pärnu declared in 1664 that the candidates for parishes had to

submit among other necessary documents a certificate about the knowledge

of the Estonian language.




motivation, and complaints about the recklessness of the pastors, their neglect, their lack of human interest and their troubles with alcohol began to be put forward thus exerting pressure on these members of the clergy roster.

The records tell us that the congregations had a better understanding of the character of the office of the shepherds of the souls than that which the church was able to give. The people expressed their discontent complaining that they had to listen to trifling and empty matters which had nothing to do with the Word of God in the sermons of such pastors (1). One wish was often made: namely, that the pastor should go around among the villages and instruct the people. For the first time these questions were brought out in such an accumulative way that pastors who were chronically and habitually lazy could not ignore the growing criticism.

In some difficult situations, the congregations became erect and firmly took a stand on matters which they felt belonged to the interest of the life of the congregations (2). The acts of the visitation of Rõngu (3) show that the relations between the squires and the pastor were not good and that there was something against him in these quarters. However, the peasants acted vigorously by coming to the defense of the pastor (4). They boldly declared their stand as recorded in the document: ' If the few Germans wish to take to themselves another pastor, let them do so; we wish to keep our pastor for ourselves'.

In Karula the people stood by their pastor on several occasions and took their stand in a vigorous way. This involved J. Hornung, famous for his meritorious accomplishments in Estonian literature (5). When complaints and accusations were launched against him from Baltic German circles, he found protection from his grateful people (6).

1 So in the minutes of the visitations in Karja in 1675.

2 Cf. KÕPP, Kirik ja rahvas, p. 179ff.

3 Acta ex Protocollo visitationis 1638 der Ringenschen und Nyggenschen

Kirchenvisitation, Livonica II: 619, Riksarkivet, Stockholm.

4 The people declared that the pastor had taught the people diligently, instructed

them in the catechism, and visited the people in their huts; they also testified that

his life was blameless.

5 See page 59ff.

6 In the visitation of 1701 the people did not confirm the accusations; they

testified that he had carried out pastoral duties and visited the sick. However,

they said that he had not been in the villages preparing for the communion and

examining knowledge of the catechism. J. Hornung explained that this was due

to his bad health and the building work at the church.




In 1706 the people had another occasion to come to the aid of their pastor in a very difficult situation (1) and in such a way that they were successful.

As vigorously as the people began to raise their voice in order to raise their voice in order to demand improvement of the pastoral work, just so did they want to improvement in their pastoral work, just so did they want to establish the basic premises for the life of the evangelical congregations in respect to the selection of their pastors. The People felt that the cancerous system which had made the church an instrument of the squires had continued long enough; it had paralyzed the real mission of the church. Their wish was to make it worthier so that it could serve the flock. These insights come to the fore in a blunt statement by a peasant, who in a heated argument retorted: 'This is our church, not yours'.

As to the way this conviction was put into practice, the records can give us illustration. The congregations on their own initiative raised their voices against suppression of the will of the congregations. In some places, a real fight flared up. In 1646 the congregation of Äksi rose against the pastor imposed on it by the town-council of Tartu. The peasants declared firmly and unanimously that they would not accept this dictate inasmuch as the man did not know their language, did not meet the requirements of the pastoral work, and further that there was no hope for improvement in this matter (2).

In 1652, a vehement fight broke out in the congregation of Pilistvere. When the squires put into the pastorate a man who was not acceptable to the congregation because he did not know the language of the people, a delegation of the congregation appeared before the upper consistory requesting a rescinding of the decision. The peasants declared that the squires were not interested in the church at all, that they did not attend the worship services and neglected the church; but that they, the peasants, wanted to enliven the ecclesiastical life and therefore, wanted another pastor, one who, so it became apparent, was not ac-

(1) When Hornung was arrested by the Swedish authorities and brought to Pärnu,two wardens were sent by the congregation before the consistory in Pärnu to obtainhis release. They testified that they did not know any wrong on his part and called

attention to the manner in which he had done his work in a large parish.

(2) A letter sent to the upper consistory, written on December 4, 1646, Livonica

II: 568.




ceptable to the squires (1). When the upper consistory attempted to get rid of the issues by raising the question of the additional financial burden which their request would involve (2), it erred in estimating the seriousness of the people and their willingness to do whatever was necessary in the interest of healing the church. The delegation declared that all the peasants had decided to bear additional expenses rather than to remain any longer without a shepherd of souls. However, it was not allowed these courageous people to make the church measure up to its purpose (3).

The carrying out of concrete and constructive proposals for the improvement of ecclesiastical conditions show that the people not only were interested but also prepared to accept additional sacrifices, namely, financial burdens. The actions undertaken by the people in Karula and Hargla serve as an example. The problem was caused by the decision of the consistory in 1632 to transfer a group of villages (4) to the parish of Gaujiene, in the territory of the Latvians (5). As a result, a large community of Estonians who did not speak the Latvian language was put into a situation where they had to take matters into their own hands to arrange their affairs by themselves. They decided to build up their own ecclesiastical work and submitted a plan to the consistory. Permission did not come. So, the peasants made arrangements for their spiritual welfare (6). It was a matter which continued to bring trouble, since all the pastors of Gaujiene were not able to offer their services because of their lack of the language. The persistency of the people is very noteworthy. Not until 1694 did the endeavors of the people

(1) This was pastor Langius who repeatedly had preached in Pilistvere;

however, since he was not acceptable to the squires and since they had

forbidden him to preach there, he had to stay away.

(2) The upper consistory declared that the period of mourning was in

process and that the vacancy could not be tilled before the end of the

period unless the congregation was prepared to pay a double salary,

one to the widow of the former.

(3) The upper consistory reprimanded Pastor Langius sharply because he

dared to obtain consent from the congregation before having requested

an opinion from the squires.

(4) The villages of Lannametsa, Koiküla and 'Taivakülla' which belonged

to the parish of Karula. The reason was that there was no pastor in Karula.

(5) Koivalinn (Adzel).

(6) They reached an agreement with the pastor to the effect that he

would preach every second Sunday in Estonian.




regarding their own church materialize. Finally their congregation became independent (1).

In this connection, the petition of the peasants of the village of Kaisma-Kõnnu of Kärgu sent in 1695 through the consistory to the governor-general is among others too precious to leave out. Because they were located at a distance from the church of Pärnu Jakobi and because of the bad conditions of the roads in spring and autumn, the people felt that their religious service suffered. They therefore requested permission to build a sanctuary on a spot where in earlier times there had been a church. With the permission of the vice-governor, the people proceeded with the work by bringing logs from the forest and gathering other necessary materials. They also expressed a willingness to take upon themselves the additional financial burdens that this arrangement for their spiritual welfare incurred (2).

These facts manifest an understanding of the church as it emerged under the Swedish rule, backed by the willingness on the part of the peasants to take on additional financial obligations despite the state of extreme poverty.

This is the place to add something about the role the indigenous leadership began to play in the affairs of the church.

The new situation in the church with its new premises aroused such an interest among the peasants that the leadership in the congregations began to take an interest in the church as their church, not as an arm of the squires. As the sources tell it, strength was quickly mustered to work towards constructive aims. As soon as the people felt they were allowed to do what was necessary for their deeper needs, men were found for leadership that deserved the backing of the congregations in their undertakings. What was said about the agile activities of the indigenous leadership in connection with their endeavors in the area of schooling, is valid also for the leadership in the congregations. As soon as the people felt that the church had a concern for their

1 By the decree of the king, parishes Gaujiene and Hargla were separated

and the Latvian and Estonian congregations became independent. A letter

of the upper consistory to the pastor of Gaujiene, written on June 26, 1694,

Livonica II:555.

2 The people wanted to take care of all the expenses in bringing the pastor

to perform the religious services. They also wanted to pay the salary to the

sexton or teacher who on the spot would give religious instruction and do

ecclesiastical work.




spiritual welfare and that they were allowed to act according to their deeper spiritual needs, leaders arose in the congregations who were not only spokesmen of the communities but also willing to lay their hands on the up-building of ecclesiastical life.

The active participation of the Estonians in the work of the church extended itself also to higher functions. The sources do not give us adequate data about the sons of the land who were able to enter the ranks of the clergy - names to distinguish Estonians from others was no longer the vogue. But even the most reticent estimate would permit the assumption that the most aspiring sons of the indigenous people occasionally at least did succeed in reaching the goal. Under the somewhat more liberal conditions of the Swedish rule, this may be taken as certain.

One of the most outstanding deserves to be registered here. He is Bernard Freyer, pastor of the Estonian congregation in Pärnu (1) and later dean of Pärnumaa. He took a lively part in the discussion on the question of the Estonian language. Bishop J. H. Gerth in 1689 speaks of him as a trustworthy authority on the Estonian language (2). Moreover, his family name indicates his indigenous background since this is a name adopted by those who had escaped serfdom. All this seems to find additional confirmation by his intimate knowledge of the customs and ways of the people. What he has written on this subject to the upper consistory reveals a quite different man than an ordinary pastor. He discusses in detail the conditions of life and work among the people revealing an unusual acquaintance, concern and compassion (3).

(1) 1680-1693

(2) '... wollerfahren Ehste', a letter written on May 25, 1689 and sent to

the king, Livonica II:33.

(3) So his report to the upper consistory written on December 5, 1689,

Livonica II:577






Endeavors to provide basic instruction in Christian truth and to develop the spiritual thought-world of the indigenous people were supplemented by a new factor. It had to do with reforms in the area of schooling.

First a word about the situation in the towns. A number of schools were in existence before the arrival of the Swedish rule. But these were found only in the towns, and they were lower Latin schools (1) and the still lower children's schools (2). It was here that the effects of the new period were felt most quickly. A number of such children's schools were transformed into Latin schools (3). Children of Estonian parents who were citizens of the town communities received instruction in these schools.

In 1631, the long quarrel between the town-council and the knighthood regarding St. Michael's convent for nuns was settled - the convent and all its buildings were transformed into a school. At the time Meuseler's diary (4) was written, matters had proceeded to the point that the rooms had been rebuilt for classes (5).

The number of Estonian children in the town schools must have been considerable.

1 There were 3 teachers in 3 classes in these institutions; in addition

to the rector there was a teacher in mathematics and the cantor for music.

2 With one teacher and one class, the subjects were here: reading of

German or Swedish, catechism, gospels and singing.

3 So in Kuressaare and Pärnu

4 'Aus Meuselers Diarium von 1621-1641', hrsg. von E. VON NOTTBECK,

in: Beiträge zur Kunde Est- Liv- und Kurlands III (1882), p.213

5 The school later became the gymnasium of Gustavus Adolphus in Tallinn.




Numerically, the contingent of Estonian children taught in the schools of the Estonian congregations must have been much higher. In the important towns, these schools were able to develop their activities with vigor. In Tallinn there were several Estonian schools. Most outstanding among them was the school at the church of Pühavaimu and that of the Estonian congregation at the cathedral. These were schools of longer standing. Concerning the first school we have a fuller testimony by G. Müller who in his sermons (1) speaks of the 'scholepoysid'. Further we discover via this same source that besides the subjects that had to be mastered, the students learned carols which they sang in the worship service and also at funeral services.

Even more - they had to guide singing in the congregation. At Tartu the most important was that of the Estonian congregation at the church of Jaam. This we learn in connection with the activities of Pastor B. Gilde (2). According to his own testimony, he was teacher of the 'school of Estonian language'. Other schools were located in the suburbs. In Pärnu (3) new life in education was created with the coming of the sixth decade (4). In other towns such as Rakvere, Narva, Valk, there were schools as well. So, too, in smaller towns.

Over against this improvement in the educational life in the towns, the situation in the country was poverty stricken and neglected. Nor was this oversight! There were deliberte intentions of keeping the children of the indigenous peasants away from the sources of knowledge. In this respect, the Swedish rule proved its worthiness. The first attempts to set fresh winds in motion appear with the great figures on the seat of the bishopric of North Estonia (5) and that of the superintendent of South Estonia (6). Plans from these quarters met the same force of obstruction which worked against reform on whatever front.

1 Neununddressig Estnische Predigten von Georg Müller aus den Jahren 1600-

1606, hrsg. von W. REIMAN (Dorpat 1891) = VerhGEstnG XV, p. 109

2 See vol. II, page 101ff.

3 Cf. G. KOCH, 'Die Schulverhältnisse Pernaus seit der Reformation', in:

SbAlttGzP VII (1914), p. 138ff.

4 When in 1661 Johann Vestring became pastor of the Estonian Jaani congregation

he brought the school into life.

5 Particularly the proposition of Bishop Ihering.

6 Superintendent J. Gezelius demanded in his proposal on church order in

1668 that a school be founded in every parish; cf. BUDDENBROCK, Sammlung

der Gesetze II, 2.




Towards the end of the Swedish period, new life was poured into these tireless efforts at improvement. Credit belongs to J. Fischer who was able to see part of his vision of preparing the future sextons and teachers for the vivification of the church work come to realization. 'Paupers' schools were founded in the towns for the instruction of children of various nationalities.

Much more was accomplished towards the end of the Swedish period. A very important initiative was generated by Superintendent-General J. Fischer. With the proposals made in 1675, a new era was promulgated. These contained nothing less than the goal of founding schools not only in the towns but in the country as well. However, only action on the part of the crown could put them into effect. As far as the people of the country are concerned, this was the most important action in the area of education. It led to the evolution of the folk school (1). The credit for having written one of the most beautiful pages in the history of the Estonians belongs to men of a stature far beyond that of most of their contemporaries. They are the pedagog Bengt Gottfried Forselius and King Carl XI who thus secured a lasting place in the grateful memory of the Estonian people.



B. G. Forselius (2), the son of Johann Gottfried Forselius, pastor of Harju-Madise, a Finn, was the man destined to materialize the plans of J. Fischer. This man took the task to heart and selflessly consecrated himself to this noble goal. This alone explains the fact that he was able to bring the issue into action despite many powerful forces which were united in the single purpose to bring his work to nothing.

In every respect his work was epoch-making - beginning with the introduction of a new method and ending with its implementation. Instruction in reading lasted one and a half years which made education for the peasants very hard. In his teaching, Forselius employed a new method (3) which helped the boys and girls to accomplish more

1 K. RUUT, Eesti rahvakooli ajalugu l (Tartu 1921);cf. JbEstnPG IV

(1921), p.216.

2 'Methodus Informandi Forselii'.

3 His method seems to have been similar to that employed by Gezelius, the

founder of the Finnish folk school, in which the letters were learned by

pronunciation and in which the words were read together by syllabi.




within one winter (1) than during the learning time of the old method. He also created literary means to foster his method (2) and through it the art of reading. He was deeply convinced that the situation of education among the Estonians could be made better than in Sweden and Finland where there were a large number of illiterates (3). In this way he gave the impetus for the folk-school.

Forselius pushed his educational efforts very hard, with selfless dedication and exceptional energy and vigor, and through the arm of the Swedish rule he was able to create an atmosphere in which certain circles could no longer sit idly upon their hands. The government pushed relentlessly (4). Orders that schools were to be established were issued to the estates of the crown and to those fallen to the crown through reversion. As a result, the Diet had no choice but to put this matter on its agenda. In 1687 it adopted the resolution that every parish should have a school; where there is a sexton, he is to be responsible for the school; where there is no such sexton, one must be appointed (5).

The difficulties ahead were immense. The owners of the estates followed this work with deep misgiving and alarm. What was done succeeded only because the Swedish rule stood behind these noble efforts. In such circumstances, the furious squires were unable to kill the movement entirely. But they could, and did, make its further development as difficult as possible. The spirit of obstruction was most effectively expressed by passive resistance. The release of land was indefinitely postponed; and when the foreseen land was given, it was so useless that

1 On the basis of his method he composed an abc-book published in Riga in 1686.

Although at least two editions of this publication appeared during his lifetime

not a single copy has survived.

2 This he wrote in a letter to Bishop Gerth in 1687.

3 Cf. G. WIESELGREN, B. G. Forselius und die Grundlegung der estnischen

Volksschule (Lund 1943) = ViLÅ 1942.

4 In 1686 an order was issued by the state authorities to the effect that of every

church in Livonia one-fourth of the plough-land must be allotted the teacher for

his maintenance. Adramaa = uncus = Haken 'plough', was a unit which was made

the standard measure.

5 In 1687 the Diet of Livonia upon the demand of the Governor-General Hastfer

who followed the order of the king had to decide that a school had to be established

in every parish. This involved as well a new financial obligation for the building of

schoolhouses, for maintenance and for the remuneration of the sextons or teachers to

be engaged in instruction in the schools. This decision was made against the wish

and will of the squires - but it was unavoidable since it was the will of the king.




the teachers were compelled to abandon their work (1). In places where the patronage right was still valid, namely on the private estates the situation was even worse. Thus in many places, the directives were merely paper decisions. In the following years, we hear complaints coming from all directions about the deficiencies in the implementation of that which had become the law of the land (2). As a whole, the development in North Estonia was much slower than in South Estonia (3) and it varied of course from place to place.

The movement set in motion and carried out by endless patience and heroic struggle thus became a public affair for the entire country once it was sanctioned by the legislative organs (4).

It was not a folk school in the original sense of the tern, since it was created to be an ancillary institution of the church. Yet, in its work, this institution set forth the bold task of enlivening the spiritual and intellectual niveau of the people through the knowledge of reading, literature and writing. Thereby a new phase m the history of schooling among Estonians was initiated (5).

The dedication of B. G. Forselius is revealed by his investment of effort in another area. He himself opened a school in Piiskopimõisa, near Tartu, for the purpose of preparing sextons and teachers from the indigenous people for their work. His undertaking attracted those thirsty for learning among the people, irrespective of age (6). He was the only teacher, the books used were his own and the method introduced was his own (7). He was able to put new life into the learning enterprise (8).

1 In a letter by J. Fischer, written in 1694, sent to the king, Livonica II:143,

Riksarkivet, Stockholm.2 Emissary G.A. Strömfeld to Governor-General Hastfer,

September 1, 1694, Livonica II: 515.

3 In the report of 1688 sent to Forselius; over against 42 schools in south

Estonia, North Estonia had only 8, V REIMAN,

'B.G. Forselius', in Eesti Üliopilaste Seltsi Album III (1895), p.46ff.4 When Forselius gave another account in Stockholm in 1688,

he obtained full authorization to lead the work in respect to the

schools of South as well as North Estonia.

5 P. PÕLD, Eesti Kooli Ajalugu (Tartu 1933), p. 37ff.

6. Generally, they were 10 to 15 years of age but some were much

older; they learned reading, writing, singing, and studied catechism,

Bible and mathematics.

7 Instead of the spelling method, he introduced the pronunciation method.8 The clumsiness of the ancient style of writing slowed down the study

of reading; what had taken 1 1/2 years was accomplished by him within

a winter.



II. SPRING WINDS IN EDUCATIONThe maintenance of the students was provided by the government - the bread came from the granary of the state. But this illustrious man had to suffer much from the squires. They worked against him ceaselessly, asserting that he was teaching the people to be lazy and rebellious. It required the pressure of the government to establish the rule that every estate had to give permission for at least one boy to enter his school.

His work was interrupted by his untimely death occasioned by the intrigues of his adversaries. To defend the cause from attack he had to seek help from the king. He took two students along with him on this journey in order to demonstrate the results of his endeavors. From this trip he never returned. All were drowned in a disaster on the Baltic Sea. But even the short time he was able to devote to his school - from 1684 through 1688 - had its lasting effect. Besides the example he gave, the stimuli that emanated from this place through his pupils deserves special notation. Since many of these 160 students began to teach, the school gained the reputation of a teacher's seminary. One can only imagine what an important center this would have become had not fate been so cruel.

The memory of this tireless educator and selfless benefactor has secured its enduring place in the history of spiritual culture; there he lives on as one having earned the epithet 'the father of the Estonian folk school'.



An untimely death did not allow Forselius to see vital steps undertaken by the Swedish state authorities towards the materialization of his endeavors and dreams for the establishment and fostering of the folk school.

The 'Placat' of Governor-General J. J. Hastfer of April 27, 1689 (1) marks a new phase in the development. Education was made obligatory in principle. In every parish according to the list prepared by the pastor there had to be a certain number of children who were obliged to receive instruction. The duties and responsibilities for providing instruction were laid upon the parents and the squires. A term was given the squires and leaseholders of the estates for the erection

1 Liefländische Landes-Ordnungen (Riga 1707), p. 531f.




of schoolhouses (1). This marks the official beginning of the folk school, although a number of parishes had founded schools long before that time.

A new decision regarding the implementation of these resolutions gave another much needed push. In the same year the office of an inspector over all the folk schools was also established in order to oversee the work in a coordinated manner, and it was placed in the right hands (2).

Thus the legal foundation was laid for the plan envisaged by a number of Swedish church leaders. The synod of North Estonia took the initiative and asked Bishop Gerth to undertake steps in Stockholm to win authority for the establishment of such schools in North Estonia. As a result of the demarche of the bishop before the king, the Diet of North Estonia had no alternative but to follow suit in 1690, making the founding of schools and the erection of schoolhouses obligatory in every parish.

The initial stage was vigorously pushed forward under the admonition of the state, by a number of new ordinances and reminders which put pressure on the estates (3). The king himself joined in support (4). Obligatory instruction was fixed by a royal resolution in 1694 (5). It also set forth the financial stipulations applicable to the folk school (6).

Saaremaa remained as the last, but also its turn came. The government directives were finally promulgated here in 1695.

The difficulties ahead were immense. Obstruction started immediately. At many places, the squires and the pastor could not agree on

1 According to this ordinance the squires and the lease holders of

the estates had to bring their contingent of material together during

the winter of 1689-70.

2 The king invested Johann Hornung with this authority in South as

well as North Estonia for 3 years; this was later extended for another

period of 2 years.

3 In 1690, Governor-General Hastfer demanded at the Diet that the

squires and the estates of the crown must follow the ordinances.

The same had to be repeated later.

4 In 1691 he gave an instruction which made the ecclesiastical

authorities as well as the financial deputy governors responsible

for overseeing the development of the folk school.

5 Sammlung der Gesetze, hrsg. von G. J. v. BUDDENBROCK II, 1

(Mitau 1802ft.), p. 1316t. This was issued on September 30, 1694.

6 The resolution determines that a fourth of the plough-land constitutes

the main source of income. The execution of this order was laid on the

governor-general. This resolution fixed what had been done already

years ago on the basis of the order of 1686.




the site of the school - not even on a sandy, swampy or even totally unfit piece of land. The squires hindered the erection of schoolhouses by the use of the same technique. The sources repeatedly offer the same complaint: the peasants were ready to bring their material together, even a second time, but the squires remained adamant, delaying the work so long that the beams rotted away; again, peasants would erect the walls, but before the buildings were completed, the squires clamped down on the builders and the schoolhouses remained unfinished, without roofs, to deteriorate (1). With but a very few exceptions (2), the squires and their leaseholders refused to give any help to the teachers though they were obliged to do so. They became enraged even when others were asked to maintain instruction; sometimes they ruthlessly intimidated those who were willing to give their aid to the school (3). When others attempted to put life into education without the help of the squires, the squires kept children who should have been in the church or at school at manual labor. These were forces who maintained an obstinate stance hindering the peasants from gaining knowledge. In their eyes the schools were not to be tolerated for political reasons (4) - the spirits of the peasants were not to be allowed to awaken in this way. This is bluntly expressed by one who was able to make observations on the spot (5). These forces would not allow their slaves to deal with anything other than serving their lords. Only relentless pushing by the Swedish authorities made these men move a little. For perseverance and ceaseless prodding the greatest credit

1 See a characteristic document written on October 19, 1696, Livonica II:G18,

Riksarkivet, Stockholm.

2 Only some squires revealed interest in schooling. The best example among

these is Häädemeeste, a filial church of Saarde where the teacher in the

school was maintained by the squire. However, after his death such a change

took place that the school had to be closed.

3 This is what happened in the parish of Rõuge. When the sexton began to

gather his salary (half külimit rye and a half külimit barley from every

peasant) as officially fixed by the deputy governor, the squire threatened the

sexton with scourging and the warden of the church who helped the sexton in

collecting his remuneration was scourged. About this, see the letters written by

Pastor J. V. Boretius to the consistory on July 11, 1698 and February 1, 1699,

Livonica 11:587, 589.

4 KELCH, Lifländische Historia, p. 241.

5 'Man hat biss dahero, aus einem Prinzipio Pseudopolitico, das arme Land-Volck

nicht wollen zur Eriernung Lesens und Schreibens anführen, dimit sie nicht zu

klug werden', 'Ein Staatskalender aus dem Ende des 17. Jahrhunderts mit Nachrichten

über die Ostseeprovinzen', hrsg. von v. KEUSSLER, p. 385f.




must be given to Governor-General Hastfer, his successor E. G. Dahlberg and the financial deputy governor. Even then the results were meager. In 1694 J. Fischer gave an account to the king which was virtually an accusation (1). In 1695 the administration was compelled to launch accusations against the squires for failure to see to the establishment of schoolhouses and the work in schooling (2). Such complaints were made repeatedly (3). Experience showed that unless the governor-general gave strict orders, threatening the squires with punishment, there would be no cooperation on the part of the squires.

The forces which adamantly kept refusing to allow the peasants their place in the structure of the society also intended to liquidate the schools which, despite every pang of suffering, had come into existence. The squires started action to reclaim the sextons and teachers 'with wife and children, possessions, goods and flocks' as sons of their slaves in order to make them 'again their slaves'. The consistories had to seek help from the government. What hardships were involved can be seen in the light of the experiences of one of the most outstanding alumni (4) of the school of Forselius, a case which is known to us (5). The landlord wanted to reclaim him - and his family - from his position as a teacher and reduce him once more to a slave. This brought on a long lawsuit. Not always, however, did these men escape the grip of the squires (6).

The whole undertaking would have failed had there not been possibilities available in the crown estates and the estates which fell back to the crown by the reversion. To be sure these too were in the hands of the

1 This report complains that in the majority of the parishes the land

for the schools had not yet been allotted and that where this had been

done mostly completely unfit land had been given to the schools.

In many places there still were no schoolhouses, Livonica 11:143.

2 Ms. B-116 in the collection of materials pertaining to Swedish

governor-general, the Estonian Central Archives, Tartu.

3 Ms. Acta de anno 1696, fol. lllaff., Archives of the consistory of

Estonia, the Estonian Central Archives, Tartu.

4 He was Ignati Jaak, the forefather of the pastors and deans in North


5 He was a sexton in the church of Kambja. The owner of the estate

of Palupera still demanded his return and that of his family as slaves,

though the previous owner had given him permission to enter the school

of Forselius. The law-suit lasted for many years before he was able to

escape the claws of the Baltic German squire, thanks to the government

and to friends who were able to help him, despite the fear of retaliation

even under the protective umbrella of the government.

6 See a case in KÕPP, Laiuse kihelkonna ajalugu, p. 115.




Baltic German squires, but the king could put pressure on these lease holders and their clerks. Since the reversion involved mainly South Estonia, this is the reason the conditions were far better there. Vigilance by the synods, consistory and the governor-general, put fire under those who toyed with the tactics of delay.

The governmental authorities had better results with the pastors. Through the surveillance of the ecclesiastical leadership appointed by the king, these men could be mobilized for action in regard to the folk school. The merits of the energetic Superintendent-General J. Fischer are particularly great. There were pastors who could not be moved at all, who obstructed the endeavors and who, so the sources relate, even used the beams brought together by the peasants for the erection of schoolhouses for their personal profit -whether to repair their mansions or for fire wood - and this even repeatedly. However, in general, the government found auxiliary forces among the clergy who were willing to do something or could be persuaded to do so through relentless pushing by the bishops, superintendents and deans. The number of the former category is quite considerable. The Swedish rule had worked for the improvement of the quality of the pastors and a number had risen above the average type who did not care for promoting spiritual culture. There were places where their intervention in a critical situation saved the school. Some had become adherents of Forselius, having been energized by him (1). Among the most outstanding was C. Kelch, pastor of Järva-Jaani, a well-known chronicler (2) who encouraged Forselius when he was under attack, stating that Forselius could render no higher service to the country than through the introduction of the folk school (3). He gave his vigorous support to the cause by his personal example (4).

1 Jeremias Rublach, pastor of Järva-Madise, gave his warm support in orderto foster schooling. He was the man who in 1686 let a boy of 9 years read the

lesson in the church which caused much amazement. Ms. Acta de anno 1688,

fol. 338a, the Estonian Central Archives, Tartu.

2 R. WINKLER, 'Beiträge zur Kenntniss des Chronisten Kelch und seiner Zeit',

in: Beiträge zur Kunde Estlands V (1900), p. 114f.

3 Ms. Acta de anno 1688, fol. 332ab, the Estonian Central Archives, Tartu.

4 He even suggested that all the lazy and drunkard sextons - the sextons were

mostly Baltic Germans - be dismissed and that the sexton houses with their

income be given to peasant teachers from whom he expected good help for the

church. Through the mediation of Forselius he obtained 6 talers from the state

and an additional 4 talers from the parish and so a teacher could be engaged.

When, how-




Other pastors reacted in a similar way and were willing to support a teacher in times of severe pressure (1).

The greatest obstacle in the way of the folk school was the deplorable material situation of the peasants. In fact, it was more than miserable. These exploited human beings could do so little on their own strength, yet support was absolutely vital if the movement was to be carried through the land. All the reports constantly stress in stereotyped refrain the great poverty of the people, their 'hard slavery' which made it impossible for them to muster more support than the little they did exhibit. This hard fact is stated again and again - because of the lack of bread, many were not able to send their children to schools: they had nothing to give to their children to eat.

The picture of the results of all these efforts, attempts, endeavors, relentlessly pushed by the Swedish officals is quite variegated.

The situation in parishes with Swedish settlements was better than that elsewhere. Here the state had been more alert and had taken better care of the conditions of the schools (2). In such parishes the royal order provided means for erecting schoolhouses and for the maintenance of the teachers, creating exemplary conditions in comparison with other parishes (3).

In other parishes the situation was contingent upon a number of factors: the attitude of the squires, the degree of participation by the pastor, the educational niveau, the ability and faculties of the sexton, and the presence of the leading spirits among the peasants. Despite the fact that things moved on very slowly in a number of parishes, the results began to appear - naturally, one must be cautious about generalizations. Some parishes appear like oases in the picture. This

ever, in the following year the support of the state disappeared and also

the support of the parish withered away, he decided to go on without the

schoolhouse and a teacher and he himself gave instruction.

1 Another outstanding case is that of Adrian Virginius. Since the income of

the teacher was too small but the school was well organized and functioned

in an exemplary way, he supported the teacher who thus lived at the expense

of the pastor.

2 Thus in the parish of Noarootsi with Swedish settlements the school was

founded earlier than anywhere else. Thanks to Bishop J. Ihering a school was

founded here already in 1650. Cf. G. O. F. WESTLING, 'Mitteilungen über

den Volksunterricht in Ehstland 1561 bis 1710', in: Beiträge zur Kunde Estlands

V (1900), p. 24ff.

3 This was particularly the case with the parishes of Risti and Harju-Madise.

The last was the home parish of Forselius.




is the case with Laiuse. In 1692 a report tells us that there were two schools in operation, one for boys and another for girls (1) - a rare situation at that time. Some signs indicate that after the death of Forselius the sexton school in the parish of Sangaste tried to take over the function of the seminary preparing teachers and sextons for other parishes in Tartumaa (2). Towards the end of the Swedish period, preparations - in this way or that - were in process for raising the educational level of the people. Gradually new places appeared in which schooling and education took on a distinct complexion.

In North Estonia the influence of Forselius was much weaker. Yet, here, too, he had some adherents among the pastors. Though there were only some schools in existence at the time of his death, here too the picture began to change though but slowly. The situation was more difficult because more depended upon the attitude of the squires. Further, the parcels of land to be given to the teachers remained in dispute and this fact aggravated the already difficult situation. Thus the number of teachers engaged in education was smaller and the number of schools still smaller. Instruction remained to be carried out mainly by the sextons. In some parishes, the movement was very limited and only a few schools were established, as in Läänemaa (3). In Saaremaa the action started later and moved on slowly so that only some schoolhouses existed before the end of the Swedish period. The most important was located in Kuressaare (4). However, by that time, sextons were engaged in every parish and schooling rested on their shoulders. Subjects which were cultivated in the folk schools included in the first place reading. The learning of the catechism occupied an important place in the instruction. An interesting document illustrates this in detail (5). The subjects included also other texts which were incorporated into church manuals. Much attention was given to singing. As better

1 KÕPP, Laiuse kihelkonna ajalugu, p. 323. The school for the boys had 55 students

and that for the girls 17.

2 Cf. J. KÕPP, in: Eesti I (Tartu 1925), p. 98.

3 One of the few pastors in Läänemaa who was kindled by the spirit of Forselius,

was Dean Johann M. Embken; he made special efforts to establish regular instruction.

Ms. Acta de anno 1688, fol. 333a, The Estonian Central Archives, Tartu.

4 The school was founded in 1706.

5 The school order issued by Superintendent G. Skragge for the school in

Kuressaare in 1706, ' Schul-Methode fur die Ehstnische Schule hier in Arensburg;

wasz der Schulmeister soll sie lehren, und täglich vorhalten', is very noteworthy in

respect to the daily schedule. These regulations fixed the devotions, study of the





hymns came out, better results were reached. Much less attention was given to the art of writing and to mathematics.



The perusal of the records, documents, acts of visitations and other archives in connection with these eventful decades when the harassed and exploited people made super-human efforts to gasp the air of education and knowledge, conjures up a horrible picture of nameless misery, want and poverty, in which the indigenous people had been purposely kept. But there is something which awes the student who goes through these records which enliven the contemporary painful scene. What in the midst of this ordeal of life comes to the fore is a desire and yearning for a higher level of life, illumined by education, learning and culture. When the opportunity presented itself, however impossible the conditions, however great the difficulties which spoke against any prospect of organized schooling, however vexed and harassed the physical being, the spirit of the people began to stretch out and the soul of the people began to lift itself up, stretching towards the light of knowledge.

This is something which is reflected in manifold ways. It is, indeed, a phenomenon which commands us to pause for a closer look.

First the endeavors made on the part of the teachers. Though they were not adequately prepared and acted pedagogically according to their instinct and intuition, they were enlivened by a devotion strong enough to defy great difficulties, poverty and want; this despite the fact that they had very little for living, often just occasional doles, a miserable salary and most often they did not even receive this. It is a wonder how these teachers, even the most modest, could exist with so little (1) and perform their work. Not to speak of their working conditions which

with explanations from Monday through Friday, one chapter per day

and the study of the ecclesiastical manual on Saturday. The work in this

school lasted throughout the year. The record has been preserved in the

archives of the consistory of Livonia, Riga; ct. M. LEPIK, 'Kuressaare

eesti kooli õppekava 1706.a.', in: Ajalooline Ajakiri VIII (1929), p. 236ff.

1 A picture of the miserable conditions of the teachers, the lack of

schoolhouses and the poor and useless pieces of land allotted to the

schools is given in the record of the synod held in September, 1696,

see 'Puncta et decreta synodalia' preserved in the chronicle of the

church of Jaani in Pärnu, Ms. Kirchenbuch der St. Johannis zu Pernau,

1692-1749, fol. 159ff., the Estonian Central Archives, Tartu.




were often on the threshing floor, in houses or schoolhouses without windows. This is how the spiritual strength began to emanate from hidden sources in the soul of the people, creating in a moment when allowed new forms of life, congenial to their genius, and producing an avant garde to serve their deepest needs. This is manifested in the emergence of the country intelligentsia (1) which had to prove its strength in bearing the actual teaching and instruction during the last period of the Swedish rule and releasing stimuli beyond that. Only extreme devotion could keep the work from collapsing. Thus after the catastrophic death of Forselius which aroused jubilation among his enemies and which issued a setback to the first enthusiasm for those involved in the folk school movement, the number of persons involved in this enterprise was large enough to do what was humanly possible and more under these most excruciating conditions.

No less astounding is that which came to the fore in this movement which galvanized the spirit of the people despite their deplorable conditions. To be sure, there were those who had become soft and pliable in the hands of the slavemasters and who, to the joy of their overlords had become very obtuse about the meaning of education and the importance of sacrifices for the sake of receiving it. But for many others it was an opportunity to be grasped, and grasped quickly (2). The records describe how the peasants brought beams and other materials together and how they scrimped what they could from their state of poverty to serve this goal. There were places where schoolhouses could be erected and where room in the schoolhouse was not available for all since adults also wanted to enter the school. A stream began to flow through the minds of the people which would not be repulsed by the refusal of the landlords to separate the piece of miserable land for the school, by unfinished schoolhouses or by the sight of decaying materials over which hovered the ban of the squires. Something was set in motion which was to find its own way. Even where facilities were not allowed, teachers were engaged to work; peasants put their threshing floor at their disposal if pastors found no room in their parsonages.

Still other ways were brought into life by this movement. Peasants who lived closer to the towns and who were in a little better situation

1 See also page 6ff.

2 PÕLD, Eesti kooli ajalugu, p. 35ff




sent their children to the town schools. Other peasants hired students from the town schools to provide instruction for their children. Records tell us about the work of the students from the schools in Tallinn (1). Similar records tell us about the peasants around Pärnu who hired students from the town school to teach their children in the villages during the wintertime in reading and catechism. The maintenance of such auxiliary teachers was entirely the responsibility of the peasants themselves (2). Furthermore, the most gifted students in the town schools were often the ones who became teachers in the villages (3). In this way the town schools played their role in uplifting the education of the country people. Some records are very revealing in this respect (4).

Energies were released which were able to mobilize still younger minds. Parents taught their children reading and the children taught others. Boys and girls taught one another and children learned to read from one another. This system seems to have spread all over the country. In this way the knowledge of reading spread among the people even more widely than through the schools. The wave which was set in motion reached even the most remote corners and isolated villages.

In the light of the total picture depicted by the records, which are so rich that the development of schooling and education can be traced even to their various phases in almost every parish (6), it must be concluded that something of great importance had occurred in the sphere of the intellectual and spiritual life of the indigenous people. The real extent and meaning of all this can be illustrated by means of comparison. By the end of the Swedish period, a level had been reached which was not below that of Sweden and Finland. This is substantiated by

1 Cf. A. VON GERNET, Geschichte und System des bäuerlichen Agrarrechts

(Reval 1901), p. 57.

2 See a report given by the pastor written on October 29, 1696, Livonica II:618.

3 In this way students from the town schools earned their living so that they

could continue their own schooling.

4 ' ... die hiesige Ehstnische Schule ... die Baur-Knaben im Lesen, Beten

und Singen unterwiesen würden, die nachher in die Dörffer vertheilt werden,

dass sie die Leute unterweisen auch mit denen Communicanten wöchentliche

Bettstunden abents und morgens halten müssen', Ms. Kirchenbuch der

St. Johannis zu Pernau 1692-1749, fol. 9,55, the Estonian Central Archives, Tartu.

5 About the evidence on individual parishes, see O. LIIV, ' Lisandeid Eesti

rahvakooli ajaloole 17. sajandi lõpul', in: Ajalooline Ajakiri XIII (1934), p.

219ff; 241ff.; 311ff. cf. KÕPP, Kirik ja rahvas, p. 136ff.; 285ff.




the large amount of printed literature (1) and a dissemination of same (2) which under the conditions given is little short of amazing. Moreover, it has been stated with regard to the folk school in Sweden that it contained nothing comparable to the seminary of the sextons and teachers founded by Forselius (3).

Hand in hand with the resurgence of a spirit longing for education, the feeling of self-worth grew which in turn activated an increasing demand for education and knowledge. Vibrations of this kind are also echoed in attempts to arrive at a deeper understanding of the Christian religion, of groping towards its truth in relation to questions of life in the everyday situation.

1 During the 17th century about 40 books were published.

2 According to the data available, in the period before the end of the 17th century

Stahl's manual in 5 editions covered 20,000 copies, M. KAMPMAA, 'Eesti vanima

kirjanduse kultuurilooline tähendus', in: Raamatu osa Eesti arengus (Tartu 1935),

p. 35. These figures regarding a work which was liked much less than the editions

which came from the press in Riga, give some idea about the dissemination of


3 F. WESTLING, Beiträge zur Kirchengeschichte Livlands von 1656-1710 (Dorpat

1900) = VerhGEstnG XXI, p. 37.








In the systematic pursuit of cultural aud educational reforms, the most important place of honor next to the king belongs to Johan Skytte, a highly educated and cultured man of extraordinary endowment. The appointment of this man in 1629 as the Governor-General of Livonia, Ingermanland and Karelia inaugurated a new epoch of cultural advancement.

One of the instructions he received from the king was to establish a gymnasium in Estonia (1). For the location, he chose his residence in Tartu. An official document, published in the summer of 1630, announced the forthcoming opening of the center of learning. In it he also revealed a far-reaching educational program. In connection with this, he emphasized the importance of education as a moral power and its significance for the society. It also contained something that was unheard of, namely that access to this institution was to be open to all who had the desire for learning regardless of status and origin: the sons of the peasants had the same right as the sons of the nobility and the townsfolk. The purpose of the gymnasium is also delineated in this document - to provide an opportunity for local students to obtain training for service in civil and ecclesiastical life. In this way, the new institution could prepare men who knew the local conditions and local languages for service in their own country. In view of these needs particular emphasis was laid on the study of languages (2).

1 Cf. J. VASAR, Tartu Ülikooli ajaloo allikad: Quellen zur Geschichte

der Universität Tartu (Tartu 1932) = EVTÜIT C XIV, p. 20ff.

2 Besides the 4 main languages: Greek, Latin, Hebrew and Chaldean, also

French, Estonian, Latvian and the Ingermanland language.




This institution (1) was not of the type of gymnasium founded in the following year at Tallinn and Riga. For, in addition to the gymnasium the institution also contained a higher level for special academic (2) instruction (3) which was really a university the only difference being that it did not have the privileges which the universities possessed. With the founding of this center of higher learning, opened on October 13, 1630, the first cornerstone for academic learning in the Baltic lands was laid.

This act, however, was but an initial step. It was to be followed by others of greater consequence (4). An official document issued on April 1, 1632 made public the plans of reorganization and transformation of the gymnasium into an academy. According to all indications the initiative for this plan came from J. Skytte himself. Moreover, he undertook his plans so vigorously that he started the work even before the king gave assent with his signature (5). As was to be expected these plans alarmed the Baltic German nobility and ruling class. Rumors and intrigues were set in motion with the intent of discrediting the work of the gymnasium. Just what was set in motion is echoed even in the speech for the opening of the university held by J. Skytte. We learn that it was the German squires who followed his actions with misgivings. They feared the attempts at reform; the new school might provide such attempts, and become too effective a channel in their view. As a result, strong opposition was organized. But J. Skytte was a man determined to carry out his plans regardless of obstructions.

The charter of the Tartu University was signed by King Gustavus II Adolphus on June 30, 1632. At that time the king was at his field camp at Nürnberg, Germany. According to this act of foundation, the new university (6) was given the rights of the Uppsala university with its own court and extensive autonomy. Thus a legal foundation was laid for

1 The work of organization and the office of the rector were laid into the

hands of the famous Prof. J. Raicus of the department of medicine of the

University of Uppsala.

2 Therefore the gymnasium in Tartu was a 'collegium illustre', an academic


3 Namely in theology, medicine and jurisprudence.

4 Skytte had decided to transform the gymnasium into a university as early

as the summer of 1631.

5 According to the records matriculation took place for the first time on

April 20, 1632.

6 Concerning the bibliography, see B. KANGRO, Universitas Tartuensis

(Lund 1970), p. 175ff.




the work (1) which had already begun. The most weighty calculation for such a step certainly must be found in the state-political considerations. We cannot forget the milieu in which this act took place, namely the Thirty Years' War, and the location where the charter was signed. For this new rising Protestant power, it was certainly very important to secure the church's political position in the newly acquired territories. What would be a better guarantee than a Lutheran center of higher learning ?

The opening of the university as the Academia Gustaviana took place on October 15, 1632. The inauguration of this 'Protestant temple of knowledge at the threshold of the barbarous East' was heralded with great solemnity. The inauguration speech (2), indeed, marks a new epoch. J. Skytte puts the significant events into proper perspective. He characterizes the conditions of education as they existed prior to the time the new power took over the country. The ruling class had completely neglected the educational level of the inhabitants - they had grown up without instruction (3). The way towards education had not been opened earlier and he laid responsibility upon those who were the guilty party - the squires and the ruling class. He appealed to them to understand the needs of the time - the emergence of a new era of constructive upbuilding after the periods of destruction and calamity.

Further J. Skytte outlined a prodigious cultural program and the new university was designed to be a vehicle for the materialization of these plans. This temple of learning was to provide the Swedish administration with competent specialists, academically trained for their work, familiar with local conditions and versed in the languages of the indigenous population, namely those of the Estonians and Latvians. The Estonian and Latvian languages were therefore included in planning (4). In this way needs could be met with educated men from the country

1 The statutes set down for the university of Uppsala served as the model. Cf.

VASAR, Tartu Ülikooli ajaloo allikad, § 42, nr. 32.

2 The Latin original of the speech has not survived but only in German translation

prepared by Prof. F. Menius who was professor of history and antiquity, Relatio

von Inauguration der Uniuersitat zu Dorpat, geschehen den 15. Octobris, im

Jahre 1632 (Dörpat 1632).

3 '. . . ganz incult und ohne einige Wissenschaft der freyen Künste'.

4 '... ubi juventus tarn ex nobili, quam urbana plebeja familia in Linguis Gallica,

Lithuanica, Estonica & Ingerica, loquendo, scribendo, numerando, itemque in

studiis humanioribus artibus liberalibus instituatur & erudiatur', G. SOMMELIUS,

Regiae Academiae Gustavo-Carolinae sive Dorpato-Pernaviensis historiae

(Lundini l790), p. 8.




itself. The necessity of importing foreigners unacquainted with local conditions for positions at court and in administration was thus obviated.

This program included deeper aims. According to the vision laid down in his speech, rich and poor, German and non-German were to have an opportunity to be drawn towards higher values and goals through education (1). The sons of poor peasants were significantly included in this program. The way to these values was also opened to those who had till then been excluded by the Baltic German overlords for the purpose of shackling their spirit in a manner similar to the enslavement of their bodies (2). Now the gift of education was given also to these people; the door toward social advancement had been opened to them.

His speech ends with the wish that the university at Tartu would develop into a temple of knowledge and virtue for all men (3). This shows that the plans and tasks laid upon the new university invoked a warm, humane and humanitarian spirit wishing to raise the level of educational, cultural and social conditions for everyone who felt the thirst for knowledge. These endeavors towards a general educational enlightment were combined with practical calculations in the interest of the upbuilding of the country which had suffered so much.

Thus far the programmatic plans. The academic work was started immediately and the new goals set forth. The university consisted of four departments, those of theology, jurisprudence, medicine and philosophy (4), among which the department of theology ranked first.

The teaching body (5) during the first period consisted mostly of German professors - almost all from Thüringen, the home of the Reformation, or from Pommern under Swedish rule (6). This was natural - at that time Sweden was depending heavily upon German resources in the realm of

1 MENIUS, Relatio, p. 251.

2 ' So sollen . . . auch die armen Bauren dieses hohen beneficij zu geniessen haben,

welchen für diesem schier als vntersagt vnd verbotten gewesen, etwas zu lernen',

ibid., p. 257.

3 'Ja das es ihnen sey ein Capitolium aeternitatis vnd ewigwehrender Zugang

aller Menschen vnd Nationen vnter der Sonnen', ibid., p. 259.

4 Cf. K. INNO, Tartu University in Estonia During the Swedish Rule (Stockholm

1972) = Estonian Science in Exile, New Edition II, p. 101ff.

5 Ibid., p. 79ff.

6 A. BUCHHOLTZ, 'Verzeichnis samtlicher Professoren der ehemaligen Universi-

täten zu Dorpat und Pernau und der akademischen Beamten', in: Mitteilungen aus

der livländischen Geschichte VII (Riga 1854).




higher learning. However, hand in hand with the rise to the position of the new great power on the international scene, rapid advancement was made in the areas of culture and learning. Towards the end of the century almost all the professors were Swedes. With regard to theological work - after an initial period on a very modest scale - the department of theology began to consolidate its strength in order to keep pace with the growth of the university.

The temple of learning at Tartu became known as the Swedish university. As such it attracted students from Sweden and Finland and they constituted the majority during the first period of its history. Sons of the Germans preferred to study in Germany on the ground of nationalistic motivation.



With the establishment of this institution, higher learning was planted in the heart of the country of Estonia. Soon its blessings began to appear. It began to graduate students providing academically trained specialists for various areas and putting them in the service of the country to meet immediate needs. This however was not all - the production of various studies is significant as well. The interest in local conditions, cultivated in this center of learning, began to bear the first fruits. In the academic work the language, history, ethnography and folklore were made objects of study. These works (1) constitute valuable sources (2) of research in these areas (3). Furthermore, an atmosphere was created which instilled this spirit in the students. In fact, a number of alumni have left their traces upon the history of culture, some beyond the

boundaries of the country (4).

1 Another alumnus, Thomas Hjärn, occupies an eminent place in the historiography

of the Baltic lands owing to his Esf-, Lief- und Lettlandische Geschichte; this well-

documented work written 1670-75 also offers data about the Estonian language

and mythology.

2 F. MENIUS, Syntagma de origine Livonorum (Dorpat 1632) on the earliest history,

jurisprudence and folklore. This work brings the first piece of melody of a folk

song - it describes the presentation of the folk song and the role of the one who

leads singing and that of the chorus.

3 G. Mancelius wrote important works on the language and mythology of the

Latvians, see SPEKKE, History of Latvia, p. 258f.

4 A Swede, Johann Gezelius, who studied here and later became professor, super-




Numerically greater is the group of eminent alumni who received their inspiration from the department of theology. Long is the list of men who have secured their place in the history of literature, language and culture. Others secured their place in the history of education. Still others in the area of mythology and folklore. These works are valuable deposits of information. Some must be singled out owing to their special significance (1) for the study of folkloristic traditions (2), history of culture, and mythology (3).

A bare enumeration of these various fields is adequate indication that fresh winds had begun to blow from the heart of the country over the land kept so long in backward conditions. The stimuli released by this school were not without bearing also upon those features of the national culture which had been cherished as enlivening power during the darkest and most cruel periods.

The department of theology (4) had to fulfil a special mission in the church. During long wars and periods of devastation the congregations in Estonia had lost their pastors. A new cadre of clergy had to be prepared - trained in the country and more adequately equipped for their task under the prevailing conditions than those had been who had received their training abroad. The department of theology sent out almost 250 clergymen. The significance of the department of theology lies in the fact that it shared in the concern for the situation of the congregations. It lent its arm of support to the efforts of responsible leaders who came from Sweden. All these endeavors sought to improve conditions in the church, to enliven spiritual life and to mitigate the conditions of those under suppression. The university through its representatives also par-

intendent of Livonia and bishop of Turku; he has gone into history as the father

of the folk school in Finland.

1 Johann Gutslaff, pastor of Urvaste, produced the first grammar of the South

Estonian language, Observationes grammaticae circa linguam esthonicam

(Dorpat 1648).

2 Johann Forselius, later pastor of Harju-Madise and Risti, has earned great

merit tor his collection of the rich materials in folkloristic traditions. This material

was published by J. W. Boecler, under the title : Der einfältigen Ehsten

Abergläubische Gebräuche, Weisen und Gewohnheiten. (Reval 1685).

3 J. Gutslaff, whose grammatical work has already been introduced, published

an extensive work: Kurtzer Bericht und Unterricht von der Falsch-heilig genandten

Bäche in Liffland Wöhhanda (Dorpat 1644); this 400 page long book has preserved

much cultural historical material.

4 About the department of theology during the Swedish period, see J. KÕPP,

Tartu usuteaduskond rootsi ajal (Tartu 1932) = Usuteadusline Ajakiri, lisavihk III.




ticipated in the work of the consistory of South Estonia and in this way took part in the direction of ecclesiastical and educational policy (1).

Thus the importance of the university for the whole country was great (2). First of all because of the very fact that an educational institution was planted which radiated the Northern cultural climate. Its contribution through teaching, scholarly work and alumni to the spiritual and cultural life of the country must be regarded as essential. Forces were set in motion which worked towards the gradual improvement of the educational atmosphere, the spiritual niveau and cultural conditions (3).

To what extent were the hopes given to the people of the country materialized? We do not possess adequate data to answer this question with desirable certainty (4). There is reason for caution inasmuch as the conditions were such that only a very small number of Estonians and Latvians were enabled to pass through the gate of the temple of knowledge. Even if we take into account the fact that the low salaries for academic professions did not appeal to the sons of the nobles who therefore preferred army careers and despite the fact that assistance was given to gifted students (5), we still may think only of exceptional cases. Judging from a case of a Latvian student (6) who from the beginnings of his studies kept contact with the Finns and Estonians, it is clear that he was persecuted and had much to suffer (7) - in short the conditions must have been very hard. Nonetheless, the declaration of the rights of the peasants for higher values on such an historic and solemn occasion as the opening of the Alma Mater must have found an echo in the hearts of the peasants which could never be eradicated.

1 A. VÖÖBUS, Department of Theology at the University of Tartu: Its Life and

Work, Martyrdom and Annihilation (Stockholm 1963) = PapETSE XIV, p. 18ff.

2 This is against the negative attitude typical of the Baltic German historiography.

Ct. C. SCHIRREN, 'Zur Geschichte der schwedischen Universität in Livland', in:

MittGGLEL VII (1853), p. 40. Cf. also G. VON RAUCH, Die Universität Dorpat

und das Eindringen der frühen Aufklärung in Livland 1690-1710 (Essen 1943) =

SchSuNE V, p. 450.

3 A careful evaluation is given in INNO, Tartu University in Estonia, p. 146ff.

4 There are some traces about them. Among others in 1642 Johann Freyer of

Tallinn was matriculated.

5 The most gifted students were able to obtain even larger grants.

6 He was a student of theology, Johann Reuter, Matricula seu catalogus illorum,

qui in Academia Dorpatensi cornua deposerunt, p. 14.

7 He was removed from the church and could not find employment in Latvia though

he had studied jurisprudence and graduated from the medical department; so he was

compelled to leave for Ingermanland where he could work as a pastor and doctor.




Those few sons of the peasants who, regardless of the difficulties and hardships, were able to use the benefits of the new era and to gain access to the sources of knowledge, succumbed to the process of assimilation with upper strata of the other nations, the Swedes and the Germans. This was inevitable. At the same time, however, there emerged a group, the sextons and teachers of the folk schools who were the earnest of the Estonian intelligentsia. These men saw their responsibility differently: they remained in contact with their own people and saw their calling in serving them. Hand in hand with the improvement of the social and material conditions they eagerly used the new opportunities for improving education. This process step by step, according to all indications, would have conquered for itself even the highest levels in the educational advancement - thanks to the humane and cultured Swedish rule - if only this way of advancement had continued. Alas! this was not to be; the catastrophe occurred: first the Northern War and then the conquest of the country by the Russians.

The tornado on the horizon soon unleashed its power. In the year 1656 another wave of terror, horror and annihilation so well-known in the history of this country took place. Part of Estonia, including Tartu, was conquered by the invading Russians. The professors fled from death to Tallinn. Teaching, though under severe restriction, was resumed there and continued for almost a decade (1).

The respite was shorter than that required for recovery. New threats and dangers made a change in location of the university which had been reopened as Academia Gustaviana Carolina (2) by the decree of King Carl XI, neccessary. In the shadow of dark and threatening clouds, approaching again from the East, the university was transferred to Pärnu, a town on the west coast of Estonia and farther from the reach of the Russians. This occurred in 1699. But the work there too, was to be of short duration. It was able to function only up to 1710. In the hurricane of annihilation let loose by the Russians, this revered center of learning also was consumed. In the year 1710 Pärnu was conquered and the entire Balticum fell victim to the hordes of Sheremetiev.

As our survey has shown this tender shoot was planted in terrain which stood at the vortex of terrible whirlwinds. Again and again throughout the centuries, holocausts broke loose destroying everything that cultured human beings had in pain, love and care created, cherished and nourished.

1 The work continued there almost until 1665.

2 The reopening of the university took place in 1690.









One aspect of the Swedish rule is manifested by a phenomenon which played a very significant role in the history of the culture of the country. It fostered the establishment and use of the printing press. This was an extraordinarily unusual step. For a country so long submerged by force in the backwaters, the establishment of the presses must have bestowed a real blessing.

The appearance of the first press in Estonia hangs together with the founding of the academic gymnasium in Tartu (1). This first press in the land was set in operation in December, 1631, and soon became the press of the university (2). The disadvantage of the press was that it did not possess the right to publish books in Estonian - for this a special privilege was necessary. So far as we can tell, books in Estonian were not printed here. Not a single thoroughly Estonian book came from this press. However, what was published consisted of books dealing with the origin, history, culture, religion and folklore of the people. A grammar furnished with a vocabulary composed by J. Gutslaff (3) is the only published work extensively to include the Estonian language.

1 See page 41ff.

2 The first printers were J. Beckers and J. Vogels.

3 See page 46.




The output of the press of the university was not as small as has been claimed (1). On the contrary, it was quite fruitful (2). This press was not to enjoy the publication of books without interruption and hardships. The conquest of Tartu by the Russians in 1656 (3) brought it to a standstill. Soon the Academia Gustaviana was moved to Tallinn, the entire inventory of the press could not be salvaged and it was hidden in the church of Maarja - but it was severely damaged. It was only when South Estonia was able to rid itself of the Russians and later of the Poles and the university was reopened as the Academia Carolina in 1690 that the press was put back into operation. By that time little remained of the inventory.

In the same year that the gymnasium was established in Tallinn - 1631 - negotiations were initiated to furnish the school with a printing press. The first attempt to bring over a press from Stralsund failed (4), but this led to another fortuitous consequence - an invitation to Christoph Reussner (5), the royal printer in Stockholm, who - due to quarrels with his colleagues - felt that his life had become unbearable and gladly accepted it. In 1633 he became the printer and two years later was able to set up his press in Tallinn. He was a man who laid the foundations for the printed word in the indigenous language.

His successor was Heinrich Westphal (6). After almost four decades in the hands of Adolph Simon, the press obtained the privilege of printing books in Estonian from the Swedish government. The privilege was granted to Simon and his successors.

In the history of the Swedish period, this was the only machine in continuous operation. To this press was granted a history which was to last several centuries.

1 W. STIEDA, 'Die Entwickelung des Buch-Gewerbes in Dorpat', in: Archiv für

Geschichte des Deutschen Buchhandels XVII (1882), p. 167, speaks of only about

50 books published by this press.

2 Under the first Swedish university, i.e., in the course of 25 years, the list contains

717 publications; cf. F. PUKSOV, Tartu ja Tartu-Pärnu rootsiaegse ülikooli

trükikoda. Mit einem Referat: Die Universitätsbuchdruckerei in Dorpat und Pernau

zur schwedischen Zeit (Tartu 1932), p. 32.

3 This holocaust which lasted for several years brought enormous destruction

for the country.

4 Negotiations were in progress with Augustin Ferber; his death brought all these

plans to an end.

5 He was the brother-in-law of Ferber.

6 Cf. F. PUKSOV, Eesti raamatu arengulugu (Tallinn 1933), p. 59ff.




During the last quarter of the 17th century, both presses came into the hands of the brothers Brendeken (1) who secured their place in the history of culture of the land. In their hands, the art of printing found energetic promotion. Johann Brendeken took over the press for the university in Tartu, and later in Pärnu. His repeated endeavors to obtain the privilege of publishing books in Estonian supported vigorously by the university all ended in fiasco - this had already been granted to J. Fischer in Riga. Thus not a single book in Estonian came from his press (2). Christoph Brendeken (3) became the printer for the gymnasium in Tallinn. The editions put out by him testify to the care and taste of this master. His headaches were caused by a rival in Riga (4) and he made attempts to remove him by seeking help from the consistory and then from the king himself, all in order to extend the privilege of his press to the publication of all books of hymns, edifying literature and school books in Estonian. This Brendeken was not able to obtain - Carl XI was too well aware of the abilities of J. Fischer in providing literature.

The new momentum in the art of printing appeared at the same time in Riga.

Towards the end of the Swedish rule, a new and beautiful page in the history of the printing press was written by J. Fischer, superintendent - general of Livonia (5). Now, let us recall that one of the proposals in his reform plan was the creation of ecclesiastical literature for the people. He was the right man to do this. In 1675 he obtained permission to establish a press in Riga. It was his private printing office (6). Because of his relations with the highest authorities he was able to secure the privilege of printing books in Latvian and Estonian. True, his first concern was for publications in the Latvian and South Estonian languages; however, since part of his area encompassed the domain of the North Estonian language, this idiom too came under

1 F. PUKSOV, 'Die Buchdrücker Brendeken in Estland', in: Gutenberg-

Jahrbuch (1934), p. 199ff.

2 However he founded a newspaper in Pärnu; cf. A. R. CEDERBERG,

Die Erstlinge der estländischen Zeitungsliteratur (Tartu 1922)

= EVTÜlT B III, 2, p. 3ff.

3 He arrived at Tallinn in 1674 from Stockholm.4 The language policy, which the consistory of Tallinn so obstinately pursued,

hurt the press. The fact is that the people liked the publications printed in Riga.

5 See page 60ff.

6 He secured Johann Georg Wilcken as his technical expert.




his ecclesiastical jurisdiction. Very brisk activities were developed under his guiding hand and a number of projects were materialized. The products of this press technically surpassed by far the publications of other presses in Riga. Its modern equipment, artistic woodcuts, vignettes for ornamentation and quality of work, left all other presses in Riga (1) in the shadow.

Since the king entrusted him with the task of printing the Bible for the South as well as for the North Estonian dialects under subsidy of the state, fervor was added to all these activities and the press was kept busy. Among the projects in process was the preparation of the New Testament in the North Estonian language (2) - subsequent to its publication in the South Estonian idiom (3). This enraged the narrow-minded men of the consistory in Tallinn. Resentment mixed with envy led to schemes and stratagems to harm and damage the publishing house in the service of the people. The consistorial members blackened the image of J. Fischer in the eyes of highest authorities in Stockholm and thus were able to destroy a considerable part of that which had been built up by him.

Nevertheless, this publishing house had become a very important factor in a literary culture designed to serve the people. To J. Fischer belongs the pioneering role in the origin of the ecclesiastical literature in the indigenous language - to his honor! The merits of J. Fischer in handling the press left a deep impress upon the printed word in Estonia as well as in Latvia. Not only did he see to it that translations of the ecclesiastical books were correct and excellently prepared, but he also brought books to the market at a much cheaper price than those which came from the press in Tallinn.

Towards the end of the Swedish period, the number of presses, as a matter of fact, was increased. Printing offices were established also in Pärnu and Narva. In Pärnu, this occurred in connection with the relocation of the university from Tartu to Pärnu (4). In Narva the town was privileged to establish a press of its own.

1 The first part of Stahl's ecclesiastical manual was printed by the press of

G. Schröder in Riga.

2 See page 65.

3 See page 64.

4 See page 48.





The name of Stahl (1) has been connected with the beginnings of this literary activity. This man of initiative was Magister Heinrich Stahl (2), or Stahel, as he himself wrote his name, who was influential not only in the ecclesiastical realm in North Estonia - as a young man he had become dean - but also in the educational area proving himself energetic in the literary domain. He overcame difficulties with aplomb and did not hesitate to employ even lower means if they served his aspirations (3). His main work (4) is a bulky ecclesiastical manual (5). Among its 4 parts is included a hymnal (6) and the lessons in the gospels and epistles which represent the first portions of the Bible in print in the Estonian language. All these texts bear traces of a pre-history (7). Stahl also published his sermons (8) and among other publications (9) a work which is accorded the honor of being the first Estonian grammar (10).

Though much laudation and honor has been given to Stahl, it is not deserved - he was not the founder of the literary language of the

1 Cf. H. WEISS, 'Beiträge zum Studiengang und zur Bibliographic Mag.

Heinrich Stahls', in: Liber saecularis (Tartu 1938) = ÕEST XXX, p. 816ff.2 He was pastor in several parishes, then in Kadrina and thereafter became

the dean of Järvamaa, assessor of the consistory, dean of Harjumaa and the

chief pastor of the cathedral church. In 1641 he was appointed superintendent

of Ingermanland and Alutaguse. He was a victim of the pestilence in 1657.

3 This comes to the fore in his action against the book of sermons Postilla

Esthonica prepared by Simon Blankenhagen, pastor of the Estonian congregation

of Pühavaimu in Tallinn who had published it after the peace treaty of Stolbova.

Stahl ordered its confiscation and destruction in order to liquidate his rival and

to prepare the way for the publication of his own sermons.

4 Hand- und Hauszbuch für das Fürstenthumb Ehsten In Liffland I-IV (Riga

1632, Reval 1637-38). It contains Luther's small catechism, the hymnal, the

gospels and epistles and a cycle of psalms, prayers and hymns.

5 At least the first 3 parts appeared at his own expense.

6 The hymns - altogether 144 - are of Luther, but also of Knopken, Speratus,

Dachstein, and others.

7 Linguistically the texts are not homogeneous, but represent a conglomeration

of texts of different provenance in different dialects combined with results of

contemporary efforts.8 Leyen Spiegel I-II (Reval 1641-49).9 He also wrote a catechism for the Swedish congregations in Narva,

Ingermanland and Alutaguse; it was discovered in 1950 by G. Suits in

Uppsala; cf. G. Suits, 'Henrik Stahels svenskspråkiga katekes', in: Svio-Estonica X (1951), p. 154H.

10 Anführung zu der Esthnischen Sprach (Reval 1637).




Estonians, nor the translator of all these texts (1), nor the first editor of the hymnal as has been often argued (2).

It must be noted that this literature did not reach out to enrich the indigenous people directly. These publications were not written for the people but primarily for pastors as an aid for their instruction, as is conspicuously shown even by the outward appearance of these texts, marked as they are by parallel columns which offer the Estonian as well as the German texts. Furthermore, the language is another evidence - the publications were written in a curious and faulty language so seriously in conflict with the language of the people that they could not understand it. However, it was the language of the Baltic German pastors: it is full of germanisms (3) and pressed into the mold of the German idiom in orthography and syntax. But what Stahl lacked in the linguistic knowledge he balanced with a greater self-confidence, namely, to have ordered superbly the 'careless language of the people (4).

Finally the example of the hymnal is equally telling. Its prose exhibits a complete disregard for the people who were supposed to use it. It must have been a wonder how these ' hymns' could be sung by the congregations (5) There is not the slightest hint at making at least some improvement on the paradigms written more than 30 years

1 Stahl used ecclesiastical texts which as manuscripts were in circulation and

he must have used this material for all the parts of his manual; cf. J. ROSSIHNIUS,

Evangelia und Episteln auf alle Sonntage durchs ganze Jahr, hrsg. von W. REIMAN

(Dorpat 1898) = VerhGEstnG XIX, p. XXXIII, XXXVI.

2 In the inventory of the legacy of the bookseller Christoffer Elblingh who died

in 1606, there appears the title: Geistliche lied. Henrici Fabr. Teutsch u.Unteutsch.

It is significant that a Heinrich Fabricius was pastor of the Estonian congregation

of Jaani at Tartu since 1601, ct. E. C. NAPIERSKY, Beiträge zur Geschichte der

Kirchen und Prediger in Livland, II (Riga 1843), p. 65.

3 The pastor of Tõstamaa in 1700 said bluntly in connection with the visitation

that this ecclesiastical manual contained not a single correct non-German word.

4 E. AHRENS, Johann Hornung, der Schöpfer unserer Ehstnischen Kirchensprache

(Reval 1845), p. 3ff. even raised the accusation that Stahl knowing the Estonian

language intentionally disfigured it because he disliked the idiosyncrasy of the

language and refused to pour sacred texts into such a strange idiom, and that he

therefore germanized it as much as possible. However, there is no need for such

an explanation when a simpler one is at hand - the chronic lack of knowledge of

the indigenous language among the pastors of foreign origin.

5 J. H. Rosenplänter who talked about this question with the old sextons admired

their skill at leading this kind of singing, 'Wer die Lieder in dem ehstnischen Ge-

sangbuche übersetzt und gedichtet hat?', in: Beiträge zu genauern Kenntniss der

ehstnischen Sprache XVIII (1827), p. 11.




before (1), examples which show how vexed singing was for the congregations (2) - despite important attempts at improvement by the Jesuits much earlier (3). This publication was given approval by the entire ministerium (4)!

Despite these very serious deficiencies, Stahl was the first to employ the Estonian language in print in such an extensive way. Although this beginning was inauspicious, nevertheless, the fact remains that the first traditions of the literary language were thus established. They were destined to play a role in the future, although one not in the best interest of the life created in this area.



This work opened a pathway which by reaction and critique stimulated advance though not without complications, serious difficulties and even great harm.

As a result of various reforms to heighten the niveau of life, favorable premises were created for the emergence of ecclesiastical literature. However, for the tending, nursing, and fostering of this benefit for the people, serving their needs in spiritual and intellectual culture, the understanding of the Baltic German clergy as well as their readiness for such service was not enough. It is very significant that the most important stimuli came from pastors who did not represent the type of local clergy but that of men who came from Germany, Sweden and Finland. The same is the case with the man who became the soul of this undertaking, the pioneering spirit in the creation of ecclesiastical literature in Estonian for the enrichment of the indigenous people -

1 These examples have been preserved in the collection of sermons by Georg

Müller, deacon of the Estonian congregation of the Holy Ghost in Tallinn who

delivered them from 1600-06. A number of sermons are on the subject of the

hymns. Cf. V. REIMAN, Neununddreissig Estnische Predigten von Georg Müller

aus den Jahren 1600-1606 (Dorpat 1891) = VerhGEstnG XV, p. XXXVI.

2 Pastor Müller complains that singing in the congregation was so bad that it

led to complete confusion and cacophony; pastors who knew the Estonian language

and had been in the church during singing could not understand whether the songs

were consonant with the Scriptures or against them, ibid., p. 108f.

3 See vol. II, p. l58f.

4 The preface of the hymnal states that Stahl had submitted the manuscript

to the ministerium through Superintendent H. Vestrin and that he was ready to

correct the deficiencies; the ministerium, however, gave its approval.

Cf. ROSENPLÄNTER, 'Wer die Lieder . . . gedichtet hat?', p. 12.


###056 IV. THE SPROUTING OF LITERATURESuperintendent-General J. Fischer, whose cradle stood not in the Baltic German pastorate, but in Lübeck. He noticed what the people needed and for which they longed better than those who for generations had lived in the country.

As has already been said, the hymnal was out but it was in prose. The sad fact is that Stahl had the approval of the entire ministerium for such a monstrosity. Not a single man raised his voice against the hymnal which exhibits such a complete disregard for the people. It is a phenomenon which occurred again and again -while the Baltic German clergy, in their colonial mentality, demonstrated their complete disregard for the most important needs of the people, those who came from the outside quickly discovered this. The reaction against this gross neglect of the needs of the people, manifested by efforts to put the hymns in rhythm and rhyme, came from a team of men who all came from outside.

The leading spirit was Georg Salemann (1) who began with these efforts as early as 1637 (2). Whether his hymnal for which he requested subsidy was published cannot be answered definitely. He seems to have become a leader of a team (3) engaged in the translation of hymns and of efforts to put them into rhyme (4). One of the team, Martin Giläus (5), exhibited the best skill in this respect (6). This work progressed

1 He came from Pommern and became pastor in Jüri and later at the Pühavaimu

Church in Tallinn, RECKE-NAPIERSKY, Allgemeines Schriftsteller- und

Gelehrten-Lexikon IV, p. 15; T. BEISE, Allgemeines Schriftsteller- und Gelehrten-

Lexikon, Nachfrage und Fortsetzungen I (Mitau 1859), p. 161.

2 In his petition to the consistory he states that he had worked on rhythm with

which no one had dealt and which the pastors had held to be impossible; Bishop

Gerth found this information in the minutes of the consistory; see a letter by Bishop

Gerth, written to the king on May 25, 1689, Livonica II: 33, Riksarkivet, Stockholm.

3 This included also R. Brocmann who came from Mecklenburg. He served as

pastor of the congregation of Kadrina.

4 R. Brocmann was a friend of the German poet P. Fleming who gave him

inspiration. Fleming, as a member of the expedition to Persia, came together with

Adam Olearius to Tallinn and stayed there more than a year. The team also

included H. Göseken from Hannover who served as pastor in several parishes. He

translated from the German as well as from the Swedish hymns. Before his arrival

in Estonia he served as an assistant pastor in Stockholm.

5 He came from Sweden and became preacher in the Estonian congregation at

the cathedral church in Tallinn.

He was also one of the early students of the university of Tartu.

6 He translated mainly from the Finnish hymnal, and partly from the Swedish

hymns. Here he was able to use the stanza technique.



slowly, but when the ecclesiastical manual was ready for a new edition, a new hymnal could be included (1) in this edition over which Abraham Winckler (2) exercised special care (3). Although the language of the hymns is still restricted by the bonds of the language of Stahl, nonetheless its stanza technique is marked by rhyme (4).

One hotbed in the sprouting of literary activity arose in South Estonia at the same time. The impetus towards the creation of ecclesiastical literature was given by Joachim Rossihnius (5) by producing the first evangelical books in the South Estonian dialect, the catechism (6) and the pericopes for the church year (7). These publications follow the pattern of the North Estonian books in several respects, such as the provenance of the texts (8), language (9) and purpose (10). Through these publications Rossihnius became the founder of the ecclesiastical language in the South Estonian idiom.

Hand in hand with the appearance of books the need arose for a systematic treatment of the language. This was met by Johann Guts-

1 Hand- Hausz- Und Kirchen-Buch I-IV (Reval 1655-56); the third part of the

manual contained the hymnal.

2 He came from Thüringen via Stockholm and in 1641 became pastor at the

cathedral at Tallinn; later he became dean of Harjumaa and vice-president of the


3 The edition was published at his own expense. His care is manifest in the

hymnal which stands out by its print, paper and format among other hymnals

small in print and format and stingy with paper and because of their thickness

furnished with locks, called by the people rumm raamatud, cf. WIEDEMANN,

Estnisch-deutsches Wörterbuch, col. 935, ct. col. 987.

4 H. SALU, 'Zur Entwicklung des estnischen Kirchenliedes im 17. Jahrhundert',

in: Apophoreta Tartuensia (Stockholm 1949), p. 79ff.

5 He came from Pommern and became pastor in Vigala, in the Estonian

congregation at Tartu, and then in Sangaste, Karula and Laatre. He died in 1646.

6 Catechismus Herrn D. Martini Lutheri in sechs Hauptstücke verfasst (Riga


7 Evangelia und Episteln auff alle Sonntage durchs gantze Jahr (Riga 1632).

8 Apparently the North Estonian texts in manuscripts have served as

a prototype for those in the South Estonian dialect. Previously he had been

a pastor in North Estonia from which area he took with him texts copied from

North Estonian ecclesiastical manuscripts in circulation.

9 The German orthography, syntax and morphology indicate the same


10 The purpose is illustrated by the parallel columns in German and

in Estonian in the catechism; in the book with the pericopes, the introduction

and the titles are in German.




laff who produced the first grammar of the South Estonian language, together with a vocabulary (2) - a counterpart to Stahl's grammar in many respects with the difference that it stands somewhat closer to the actual language of the people. Heinrich Göseken's work (3) followed and hewed the same line (4).

This book culture which emerged so briskly in both ecclesiastical dioceses, however, is marked by disturbing phenomena, which did not permit it to come to fruition: the ignoring of the actual language of the people was a fatal flaw. These books could be used by pastors too lazy to learn the language of their flocks, but not by the people. Further, administrative and ecclesiastical circumstances which divided the country imparted a wrong direction to these energies, thus hindering the normal course of the development of the literary language - it was divided into two ramifications thus creating the presuppositions for harmful quarrels and struggles. It inaugurated competition between two provincial literary languages, both with limited resources when separated in this way, to the detriment of both.



In this situation the clergy was not able to develop these accomplishments in the service of the people. The real impetus came when the people got a chance to enter the process. This took place through the work of the folk school and the emergence of the first country intelligentsia, the sextons and teachers. While the pastors remained blissfully happy with their German colonist jargon, the work in the folk school and the actual instruction of the people could not remain content with such deformed, twisted and corrupt orthography and syntax. It was here that the urgency was felt to bring the book closer to the people and to remove all the artificial, stilted mannerisms and unnatural accretions, so disturbing for the people, from the ecclesiastical language. In the interest of fostering reading and study, B. G. Forselius made

1 He came from Pommem and served as pastor in Urvaste, 1630-56.

2 Observationes Grammaticae circa linguam Esthonicam (Dorpat 1648).

3 Manuductio ad linguam Oesthonicam (Reval 1660).

4 The value of his work lies in the material of the indigenous language in proverbs

and idioms.




proposal (1) for revising the orthography by simplifying it according to the genius of the language itself. He desired to make the orthography uniform, to have the language pronounced in the way the people actually spoke their tongue. Into the service of these reforms, he put his printed word (2). Such constructive reforms in the interest of the people immediately made him a target of bitter accusation. It was argued that he took his counsel from the 'wrong and careless way' of the pronunciation of the people, that he was deepening the gulf between the Estonian and German languages. Despite all these attacks the movement of the reformed orthography could not be stopped. A grammar (3) in this spirit was produced. This epoch-making work was composed by Johann Hornung (4), a connoisseur of the indigenous language. It represents a systematized treatment of the language in the Northern dialect. In fixing the 'old orthography' his work surpassed all that preceded in this area and became normative for the literary language for almost half a century (5). For this work, the author had to suffer persecution and slander at the hands of powerful clerics in Tallinn.

The same factor in the rise of the folk school and the work of the country intelligentsia contributed to further progress in another way It compelled the ecclesiastical literature to reckon with the vital needs and interests of the people in respect to learning. As a result new provisions were made in the ecclesiastical manuals, and beyond that also in separate publications designed for promoting schooling and instruction. On the other hand, because of the quality of the publications of Forselius and the books from the press in Riga which left the books in Stahl's spirit far behind, envy was aroused to such a pitch that it led to consequences inflicting much damage (6).

1 Among the most important reforms introduced by him are: the removal of

letters which were strange and the German pattern in syntax; these endeavors unfold a return to the language of the people.

2 In his abc-books he used the unified orthography.

3 Grammatica Esthonica, brevi, Perspicua tamen methodo ad Dialectum

Revaliensem (Riga 1693).4 About 1660-1715. He worked first as an inspector of schools in North Estonia, but became the target of the clergy in North Estonia and had to leave; later he was pastor in Põltsamaa, Karula, Otepää, Hargla and Urvaste.5 Cf. G. KURMAN, The Development of Written Estonian (Bloomington 1968),

p. 9ff.6 The consistory in Tallinn could find no other means of fighting against better

books than by resorting to its usual tricks, employing intrigue to bring about the

ban and confiscation of these publications. As a result the situation in South



IV. THE SPROUTING OF LITERATUREA new factor gave a lift to the endeavors in process in South Estonia. It stemmed from the activities developed for the press by J. Fischer. The energetic superintendent-general was able to gather a team of pastors for his projects among whom Andreas Virginius (1) and his son Adrian (2) were the most prolific. The literary work produced by the senior Virginius placed much material into the hands of Adrian who became the editor. Works began to flow from the press in Riga at short intervals: the catechism (3) and the hymnal (4), the first in the South Estonian dialect though it left much to be desired (5). Adrian Virginius himself translated hymns, improving them in revised editions, thus becoming a promoter of Estonian hymnology. These publication activities were crowned with the edition of the New Testament (6) which advanced literary work in this language far beyond that of North Estonian. This translation was made most probably by Andreas Virginius, revised by his son and some of his co-workers. Such accomplishments added to the stature of Adrian Virginius and additional reputation to J. Fischer who was able to organize such a production in books, surpassing that produced in North Estonia.

The people who spoke the North Estonian dialect also received benefit from the publishing house of J. Fischer which produced not only a hymnal (7) but even an ecclesiastical manual in North Estonian (8). It is the most outstanding work written in this language which came

Estonian schools in particular became very difficult and the teachers

had to send countless requests to Stockholm to remove the ban from

the important books for instruction.

1 1640-1701. His father came from Pommern. He was pastor in Kambja, and

became assessor of the consistory. He translated the New Testament and parts

of the Old Testament into the South Estonian dialect. In the preface of his

grammar he states that he had started this work and planned to complete it;

in cooperation with others he also translated the large catechism and the hymnal.

2 1663-1706. He was pastor in Puhja and later in Otepää. Cf. 'Curriculum

vitae Adriani Verginii', in: Mitteilungen IX (1860), p. 118ff.

3 In 1684. The title of his book is unknown since not a single copy has survived.

4 Wastne Tarto Mah Keele Laulo Rahmat (Riga 1685) together with a prayerbook.

5 A part of these 133 hymns was in prose. Virginius in his autobiography says

that the translators were tyros in this work, 'Curriculum vitae', p. 120.

6 Meije Issanda Jesusse Kristusse Wastne Testament (Riga 1686).

7 This cycle contained 50 hymns edited by Virginius and Hornung in 1690. Not

a single copy has survived.

8 Ma Kele Koddo ning Kirgo Ramat (Riga 1694-95), edited by A. Virginius in

cooperation with R. Brocmann, J. D. Berthold, M. de Moulin and J, Hornung.



from this press. Its improved orthography was almost coincident with the language of the people (1). Owing to its inherent qualities, it competed so well with the counterpart printed in Tallinn that only the intrigue (2) and accusation on the part of the consistory of North Estonia was able to eliminate it; it was banned and the copies recalled from circulation. Such too was the fate of other books in the same language printed in Riga.

Despite the success of the intrigue and machination of the powerful men who sat in the consistory, things did not go well in this episcopal diocese. These men could not tolerate the thought that the books which came from the press in Riga were received so avidly by the people. But these men, who through the consistory exercised censorship, whose knowledge of the language was faulty and defective, and whose forte was intrigue, were not able to learn from their fiasco. Predictably - it followed that offence is the best defense - they launched accusations against pastors who revealed a deeper understanding of the value of good books for the spiritual welfare of the people (3). How the people felt meant nothing to men who were determined to retain the tradition of Stahl (4). Thus they continued to engage in intrigues against literature which the people liked (5).

The printed word in abc-books, hymnals, manuals, catechisms and New Testaments thus began to penetrate the world of the peasants. From the schools, the pupils carried it home. The total output of the editions is very remarkable if one takes into account the grave conditions

1 Still other projects were in preparation; Virginius in cooperation with Hornung

began to prepare the edition of the New Testament as early as 1687.

2 In these intrigues great merits belong to Joachim Salemann.

3 Pastor Vestring in Pärnu gathered together and removed the books printed in

Tallinn as 'full of misunderstandings, ridiculous and very annoying' and introduced

in his congregation books printed in Riga as in 'pure and understandable Estonian

language' in order to foster spiritual and intellectual life. The pastor rejoiced that

he got rid of literature which had 'damaged the understanding of the divine truth'

His joy however was of short duration. The town-council swung into operation

and the clergy of Tallinn brought accusations against Vestring before the governor-

general. Finally he had to capitulate.

4 This system of uniform orthography finally broke the resistance in 1700.

Finally in 1703 the attempts made by Superintendent N. Bergius could free

the ecclesiastical manual printed in Riga, cf. G. O. F. WESTLING, 'Mitteilungen über

den kirchlichen Cultus in Ehstland zur Zeit der schwedischen Herrschaft in:

Beitrage zur Kunde Estlands (1898), p. 285.



of life. The number of those able to read grew steadily: so did the number of those who could teach others the same art. This is the more noteworthy since both student and parent were physically overburdened through the sweat of heavy labor and were thus spiritually exhausted as well.



The matter of translating the Bible was put on the agenda at the very beginning of the Swedish rule. The plan became public in the year 1641. The initiator was the energetic Swedish Bishop Joachim Ihering in Tallinn. His concern is expressed in a document in which he states that, at a time when almost all Christian nations possess the Bible in their own mother tongue, the Estonian people do not have a single book of the Scriptures in their own language. He calls this situation a scandal. Therefore, he together with his consistory urged the clergymen in his bishopric to nominate men capable in the original biblical languages and of proven experience in the language of the country.

These men were to undertake the task of preparing a translation (1).

Bishop J. Ihering tried to push the matter as far as he could in his capacity, regardless of the inertia and indifference. The squires showed no interest in meeting the crying need for the Scriptures in the indigenous language. According to them such a translation was not necessary. When Bishop Ihering became a victim of an epidemic in 1657 the undertaking lost its soul and the whole question remained where it was with no further advance. The whole work finally fell victim to the terror and ravage of the invading Russians and the ensuing epidemic of pestilence which took the ablest translators (2).

Many years passed before we hear of new attempts to put life into the abandoned plans. These appear with the proposals of Bishop Jacob Helvigius (3). His letter speaks of the preparation of the translation and

1 The document was written on February 3, 1641.

2 Another manuscript containing the Old Testament text was ripening. The

author of this text, in the southern dialect, was the learned Johann Gutslaff.

He himself tells us in the introduction to his grammar that he was engaged

at that time in this work and intended to complete it. Cf. his Observationes

Grammaticae circa linguam Esthonicam (Dorpat 1648).

3 Bishop of Estonia 1677-84.




the completion of the manuscript for publication. He also requests a sum of money (1).

The response of the king was not only favorable but he offered his arm to aid the enterprise and a sum of 7000-8000 talers for the costs of the Bible in three languages (2). The whole undertaking was entrusted in 1682 into the hands of the Superintendent-General J. Fischer, one of the most able church leaders in Estonia and Livonia. He tackled his task with determination. In 1683 J. Fischer commissioned young Adrian Virginius to prepare a translation (3). He had found the man he needed! Since financial aid from the king was made available J. Fischer looked forward with optimism - he even hoped that the Bible in Estonian and Latvian languages would be out within two years.

However it all turned out quite differently. He met with all kinds of hardships which made his task difficult beyond all imagining and which demolished his high hopes (4).

First of all linguistic problems (5) divided the minds. At that time, Tallinn had become the foremost center of the developing book-culture. One must here remember that all the publishing in the diocese of Tallinn stood under the censorship of the consistory. Due to these circumstances there was a strong antipathy against the linguistic innovations advocated by Bengt Gottfried Forselius (6) and Johann Hornung (7) who radically simplified orthography bringing it closer to the idiom spoken by the people than the old wooden and artificial germanized one. The first one found substantiation for his conviction in the or-

1 His memorial addressed to the king was written in 1680, Livonica II: 33.

2 What is meant here are the North Estonian and the South Estonian

dialects and the Latvian language.

3 Virginius started with the translation of the New Testament in 1683 and

completed it in 1685; cf. 'Curriculum vitae... Adriani Verginii', in:

Mitteilungen IX (1860), p. 120.

4 Cf. also a survey of these events in G. O. F. WESTLING, För arbetena till den

estniska öfversättningen af Nya Testamentet 1715 (Sundvall 1892); ID., 'Vorarbeiten

zu der ehstnischen Übersetzung des Neuen Testaments 1715', in: Mitteilungen und

Nachrichten XXVI (1893), p. 433ff.; 518ff.

5 The grammar by H. GÖSEKEN, Manuductio ad linguam Oesthonicam (Reval

1660) could not give the help necessary for an awareness of the needs of the reform

in orthography, not to speak of openness for progressive development towards the

language of the people.

6 See page 27ff.

7 About 1660-1715.




thography (1) of the Finnish Bible translation and had the courage to go beyond even this. However his publication advocating soundness in these matters, did not escape revenge (2).

Secondly, these difficulties were compounded by the question about the basis for the translation. The consistory of North Estonia took the dogmatic position that the translation had to be prepared from the text of Luther (3).

The spirit of obstructionism which was looking for every pretext to complicate the problems (4) was another factor (5).

While the controversy raged, the work in South Estonia was done quietly and the translation was completed by A. Virginius who had access also to some drafts of translation attempted earlier. As a result in 1686 the New Testament appeared under the title Meie Issanda Jesusse Kristuse Vastne Testament in a very limited edition (6). It was in the southern dialect. The edition reveals a better knowledge of the language than previously printed books. Compared with the language of H. Stahl, this edition marks the beginning of improved ecclesiastical language. So it was that the southern dialect was the first in which the sacred text was made available in print.

1 In regard to the alphabet he threw away the German letters which uselessly

had been imposed on the orthography of the Estonian language; he also began to

write long vowels with two letters, leaving the German system so disturbing in


2 As a result of the accusations of the consistory in Tallinn his abc-book-catechism

which had appeared in 1686, was banned, as was another work that appeared post-


3 This, of course, was the influence of the German congregations where Luther's

translation had the status of the canonical text, and their views were obstinately

imposed upon the translation project.

4 Dean A. Heidrich demanded that the orthography in Estonian should not be

the same as in the Finnish language but should follow the German language, and

he bitterly accused Forselius of desiring to change the language of the ecclesiastical

books according to the 'wrong and careless pronunciation of the peasants'. When

the commission upon the order of the king did not accept Heidrich's demand, he

changed his tactics and began to attack the new translation on the ground that it

was not faithful enough to the text of Luther. Cf. a letter of J. Fischer written on

October 15,1691 and addressed to the king, Livonica 11:143, Riksarkivet, Stockholm.

5 About the course of these controversies and quarrels which paralyzed all

constructive efforts, see a detailed account in KÕPP, Kirik ja rahvas, p. 65ff.

6 The first edition comprised only 500 copies; the second however 10,000 copies.




The translation and edition of the biblical texts in the northern dialect could not be moved from the dead point despite various actions. In 1686 and 1687, the New Testament in the southern dialect was set in the northern dialect (1). Since J. Fischer met with tenacious opposition, he attempted to reach his goal by conferences of experts and representatives summoned from North Estonia and South Estonia. However, the controversies flared up again.

Although the question of the language was settled by order of royal decree (2), which poured very cold water upon the opinions of A. Heidrich who had overestimated his linguistic knowledge and underestimated the knowledge of the Estonians of their own language - the verdict was that his proposals were 'absurd' - nevertheless all these efforts were doomed to failure.

Nor was this all. The men in the consistory in Tallinn sought even more effective means. Insistent attempts to influence the king that the only way of translating was not from the original but from Luther's text, 'because the majority of the clergy consists of such persons who have studied m the German academies', reached the goal. Accusation were sent to the king that J. Fischer had permitted an edition of the New Testament differing from the text of Luther. As a result a royal decree forbade the preparations made for printing. In 1691 J Fischer's adversaries attained their ambition - the order of the king banned the New Testament and demanded that all copies be confiscated and the released copies be taken back (3). At that time, most of the copies were already sold or distributed.

Thus the undertakings towards the materialization of plans to produce the Bible in Estonian, tirelessly pushed forward by J. Fischer, fell

1 A letter of J. Fischer written on October 15, 1691 and addressed to the

king, Livonica II: 143

2 This settlement was dedicated by a commission of high civil officers

who thought they did not know the Estonian language tried to decide

the problem objectively, examining and weighting the proposals made

by the opposing parties. Thus the year 1688 has gone into history as an

important event regarding the fixing of the style of writing.

3 This of course was an error caused in the chancellery where it was

thought mistakenly that the New Testament in the North Estonian dialect

had appeared against the will of the king. Since this had not yet appeared

and the order had to be followed as the manners of bureaucracy required,

the Wastne Testament, the edition which had appeared 5 years before the

ban, was confiscated!


victim to the milieu of antagonism. However the work of this man has left deep vestiges upon the history of the culture of the Estonians (1).

Thus there were a number of manuscripts ready for printing, both official and private (2), but all this work was a waste of energy. Time ran out. The victorious advance of Czar Peter, marked by a barbarism of which hideous phantoms live forth in memory, heralded the end of an era enlivened by humane and cultured spirit.

Tragic is the fate of the work which had demanded so much labor. Along with other manuscripts the translation prepared by Hornung and Virginius was lost. The fate of the authors of this important manuscript is still more tragic. Both became victims of the Russian hordes who let loose the hurricane of the Northern War. The Russians captured A. Virginius who according to their lights sympathized with the peasants; they therefore tortured him according to the 'Russian manner' and finally murdered him on June 27, 1706. His colleague J. Hornung was also arrested together with his wife and children, January 1, 1708 and dragged to Russia by the Russians and vexed there until death rescued him. He died in 1715.

1 His work carried out by his co-workers in the reform of orthography and literary

language remains one of the greatest accomplishments in the history of the culture

of the Estonians during the Swedish period, cf. A. SAARESTE, Die estnische Sprache

(Tartu 1932), p. 10ff. After the death of A. Heidrich and his companions this reform

gained victory also in North Estonia.

2 According to several reports, Pastor Johann Daniel Berthold of Pilistvere had

translated the whole New Testament from Greek into Estonian, revised the text

and prepared a calligraphic copy furnished with illustrations; see a letter of Pastor

J. J. Schmahlenbergh to the consistory written on October 30, 1705, Livonica II: 592.

Cf. also V. REIMAN, Eesti Piibli ümberpanemise lugu (Tartu 1890), p. 40ff.








The first impulses of Pietism (1) flowed outward through emissaries from the institutions of Halle. Persons connected with Francke's establishments frequently travelled to Russia, normally via Estonia. Information about an outstanding emissary in this connection is fortunately at hand.

Documentary evidence is extant (2) about Justus Samuel Scharschmiedt (3) who in 1697 travelled from Halle to Moscow via Narva. We are told that he preached in Narva and that the impact of his message was one of more than ordinary power. It is also reported that he had become known through his sermons in Tartu (4). He went on to establish his work in Moscow (5) - he found friendly understanding there and as a result extended his mission (6) to that of a full-fledged evangelistic enterprise (7) in Russia (8). This drew Estonia into the orbit of influence that

1 Cf. also O. A. WEBERMANN, 'Pietismus und Brüdergemeinde', in: Baltische

Kirchengeschichte, p. 149ff. ; J. JUHKENTAAL, 'Pietism and its Significance', in:

Estonia Christiana, p. 155ff.

2 'Neueste Kirchenhistorie von 1689-1724' by Jo. Heinrich Callenberg, which

exists in a manuscript in the chief library in Halle.

3 Also Schaarschmidt.

4 G. KRAMER, August Hermann Francke II (Halle 1882), p. 57.

5 He was deacon in the church of St. Peter and Paul in Moscow 1700-07.

6 Cf. also E. WINTER, Halle als Ausgangspunkt der deutschen Russlandskunde im

18. Jahrhundert (Berlin 1953) = VerIfSl H.

7 Furthermore he was active in church work and education in Moscow,

Arhangel and Astrahan, cf. KRAMER, August Hermann Francke II, p. 55ff.

8 Cf. also I. SALOMIES, Der hallesche Pietismus in Russland zur Zeit Peters des

Grossen (Helsinki 1936) = SuTT B XXXI.




emanated from Halle. Emissaries were received by congenial spirits, were treated hospitably and were enabled to broaden their contacts among those who were favorable to their convictions.

So far as we are able to determine, the first vestiges of interest in Pietism in the Baltic lands can be traced back to an early period. We are led to no less a prominent person than Superintendent-General (1) Johann Fischer of Livonia (2). According to our knowledge, he appears to be the first person of influence to become acquainted with the pietistic movement at the time it was becoming firmly established in Germany (3). The new ideas influenced him to such a degree that - later on - when he needed a tutor at his home, his choice fell upon a student from Francke's establishments.

What power animated the movement making it a new stream of life in evangelical Christianity?

The ideas of Philip Jacob Spener, the founder of the pietistic movement, stood in the service of the revitalization of the church. Though he was heartily attached to the Lutheran church and loyal to the principles of Protestantism as well, he opposed the orthodoxy prevalent in his day and laid stress upon Christianity as the renewal of the heart and life of man. To Spener religion was not knowledge but practice, and therefore he placed emphasis upon the fruit of faith (4).

However, when Pietism began to reach out to Swedish territory, it entered an area where it had to prepare itself for difficulties. They were caused by the orthodoxists holding to the concepts of a strictly monolithic church and refusing to understand any deviation. This concept also determined the national policy - the church of Sweden had become an orthodox church established on a nationalistic foundation (5). The doctrine of unio vel unitas orthodoxiae religionis determined all relevant legislation as well, and measures were undertaken to undergird this adopted principle.

By legislative enactment it became illegal to propagate and spread 'new and unnecessary teaching'; persons guilty of such innovations were held to be liable to severe punishments. The penalties were based

1 1674-99.

2 See page 60ff.

3 Cf. A. RITSCHL, Geschichte des Pietismus I-III (Bonn 1880-1886).

4 Pia desideria (Frankfurt 1675).

5 H. PLEIJEL, Der schwedische Pietismus in seinen Beziehungen zu Deutschland

Lund 1935), = LUÅ NF Avd. I, XXXI, 4 p. 12ff.




on the Bill of Religion of 1663. The range of punitive measures included even the punishment of death (1). In such circumstances, the promulgation of pietistic ideas had to reckon with vigorous opposition, indeed, vehement reaction (2). Special decrees aimed at combatting the infiltration of Pietism at an early stage were passed. The decree issued by King Carl XI in 1694 banned all conventicles as well as the import of heterodox books and threatened to punish all violators of this ordinance. Despite this it soon appeared that adherents of the pietistic persuasion were not to be frightened by these measures. As a matter of fact, it became harder than ever to prevent the growth and expansion of the points of contact established by the pietistic movement.



In the advance of the pietistic ferment, one channel played a particular role. This had to do with the institution of private tutors who were employed by wealthy owners of country estates, but also by others. The earliest case involves a Michael Behrends who was Francke's student and who arrived in Livonia in 1695. He found his way into the home of the Superintendent-General J. Fischer where he served as a teacher, or 'informator', teaching his sons (3). Two years later he was entrusted with a pastorate (4), obtaining a position which made it possible for him the more effectively to spread his convictions. As time went along, more and more of the squires began to invite private tutors from Halle for the purpose of educating their children. Gradually there developed a flow of private tutors from Halle, as the fame of the Halle institutions gained ground. The improved methods and ways of teaching adopted by the pietists in Halle and their study materials which were much superior in quality, won an ever wider circle of support among the people of the Baltic provinces. This stimulated further invitations for more tutors to come to the country. Their position as tutors usually was but a point of departure - most of them shortly found employment as organists, cantors, school superintendents or pastors.

1 Ibid., p. 2.

2 Ibid., p. 10ff.

3 Soon some of the local squires secured private tutors for their children

from Halle.

4 In 1697 he became the pastor of the church of Balta Baznica, Latvia.




Another factor involves the reputation of the pedagogical institutions in Halle. Despite the political constellation which was unfavorable, students were attracted to Halle. As soon as the first waves of renown began to roll, reaction followed immediately. Already in 1695 Superintendent-General D. Joh. Friedrich Mayer of Pommern (1) warned all Swedish students about A. H. Francke and his movement. This had its own bearing upon students in Estonia and Livonia. In 1705, he wrote a memorandum to the Swedish king from Stettin. The reaction was not long in coming. A list of universities was published which students, including those from Estonia, were ordered to avoid.

These attempts could not diminish the attraction which the University of Halle (2) and the pedagogical institutions - especially the Paedagogium - of Francke exercised. Beginning with the year 1698, as the list of the inmates shows (3), students from Estonia, particularly from Pärnu, Tallinn, Saaremaa and Narva, had found their way to this spiritual home. Among these students were those who were later to become pastors in Estonia and Livonia and who played a significant role in the history of Pietism in these countries. These are: Christian Gotthold Neuhausen of Riga (4), and Christoph Heinrich Vick of Pärnu (5). In 1704 Johann Christoph Gutsleff (6), the son of Eberhard Gutsleff, pastor of the Estonian congregation of Tallinn, started his studies here. That he was on the list of those who received free meals indicates that he was active as a teacher in one of the various institutions in Halle, as was the case with students in the institutions of Francke. The same thing was true in the case of Heinrich Christoph Wrede (7).

The pedagogical institutions of Francke exercised their attraction and continued to extend their influence. However, some plans and preparations ended in a fiasco. Callenberg reports under the entry for the year 1707 (8) that a group of parents in Tallinn had wanted to send their children

1 Pommern at that time belonged to the Swedish crown.

2 Matriculation of first students from Livonia begins with the year 1691;

cf. F. ZIMMERMANN, Matrikel der Martin-Luther- Universität Halle-

Wittenberg I (Halle 1955) = ArbUuLbSA II.

3 O. SILD, 'August Hermann Francke' mõjud meie maal', in: Usuteadusline

Ajakiri II (1927), p. 26ff.

4 He became pastor of Cesis and Valmiera, and later became dean.

5 He became pastor of Tarvastu 1716-21; Lemsal 1721-37.

6 He became pastor of Suure-Jaani 1715-67.

7 Pastor of Harju-Jaani 1711-42; superintendent of Tallinn 1742-64.

8 'Neueste Kirchenhistorie von 1689-1724'.




to study in Halle. The oldest son of Gutsleff was given the responsibility of accompanying the group to the place of destination. However, when the company arrived at Pärnu, Gutsleff was summoned before the consistory which had been informed of what was afoot by the teachers of the gymnasium in Tallinn. The continuation of the journey was forbidden under the threat that they would later be denied occupation

in Estonia.

There was an additional reason why so many of the local youth went to complete their studies at Halle University. The university in Tartu, due to war conditions - and which was later moved to Pärnu - had to discontinue its work and was closed. All these things contributed to the fact that the eyes of the Baltic students were turned to Halle.

The pietistic atmosphere so prevalent and dominant in all of the educational institutions of Halle was attractive and contagious and no doubt influenced the students greatly. Up to the middle of the 18th century every year from one to three students from Estonia and Latvia, but seldom, if at all, from Kurland entered Halle institutions as students. This trend continued until rationalism corrupted pietism and warped the characteristic features of that movement. Consequently the flow of students from the Baltic provinces to Halle diminished and slowly came to an end. Occasionally some still attended (1).

As the sources show, those persons who had studied in Halle remained in contact with their teachers in Halle, particularly during Francke's lifetime. Their correspondence tells of the reports of their work, of their feelings and sentiments, joys and worries, of the difficulties and hardships in their work. Here we see gratitude for their education and illumination and also descriptions of conditions of life and the circumstances of their work. The correspondence also shows how the teachers in the institutions of Halle had been a source of inspiration to their alumni, giving consolation, encouragement, advice and assuring them of intercessory prayer.

There was another pathway through which pietistic ideas infiltrated the country. This was permeation brought about by literature. Books, articles, collections of sermons and pamphlets written by Spener and Francke were imported and put into circulation from hand to hand. They were read eagerly by the students and then passed on to others, thus disseminating the seed of Pietism. A letter written from Saaremaa

1 One of them was O. W. Masing.




in 1712 tells of Francke's tracts and of the rumors about his institutions that had made their impression even on this island (1). This shows how deep and widespread was the impact set in motion by the institutions of Francke. It also seems that ordering of literature from the bookstore of the Halle institutions was quite lively.

The further development of Pietism was directly affected by the catastrophies of the war (2). In addition to the casualties of war, a plague called the ' black death' ravaged the remnants left over from the destruction of war (3). Such a horrible devastation naturally had its consequences for the church. The scarcity of pastors was very severe and many parishes were vacant. All this produced a bit of wisdom on the part of ecclesiastical leaders; they decided to take another look at the restrictions that had been imposed and enforced to that time. The many vacancies compelled church authorities to put aside their restrictions and even to reverse verdicts handed down previously. Indeed, the scarcity was so acute that finally all restrictive stipulations were overthrown.

The scarcity of teachers was even more pressing in this situation where so many schools, however small in number, had ceased to function and in which not infrequently the very school houses stood in ruin. Circumstances as to teachers and private tutors in families of the squires and nobles were just as deplorable. This explains why opportunities suddenly expanded for the disciples of Francke to strengthen their corps. And in fact their number steadily increased, including even those who previously had been unable to obtain positions as pastors (4) or were not permitted to obtain such. As time went on, some of these pastors rose to leading positions, men such as H. Gutsleff, C. G. Neuhausen, C. F. Mickwitz, J.B. Fischer, and others. Invitations for helpers and candidates for the ministry by the pastors began to be made more and more frequently. The same took place on the estates and in the families of the squires and military officers who needed teachers and private tutors. For those

1 A letter by Pastor D. J. Rahr, written May 17, 1712 from Kihelkonna.

2 See page 77ff.

3 The same Gutsleff in 1711 wrote about the devastating effects of a terrible

plague annihilating in the vicinity of Tallinn alone more than 40,000 people.

The few who survived lived a miserable life in complete religious ignorance.

If there had not been Moscovites, one would very seldom have seen any human

beings. See his letter written June 20, 1711.

4 This was the case in regard to H. Gutsleff.




who responded, and came, once having learned the language of the country, the way was very soon open to move on from the estates or private homes into the pastorates. In addition, the positions of the school rectors, co-rectors, cantors and organists were filled in most cases by the alumni of the Halle institutions. Thus it was that the conditions caused by the devastation of the war turned the tide in favor of the pietist movement.

It is necessary to take a glimpse at the activities of the alumni of the Halle institutions in order to gain some idea of what took place when such persons appeared. It would be best to let one of them speak. This is possible owing to his correspondence which allows us to take a closer look at this aspect. In several letters Heinrich Gutsleff requests tutors from the Halle institutions (1). In another, he requests two boys who are able to write from the orphanage - in order to make them sextons or teachers (2). Then he reports that he has translated H. Freilinghausen's Ordnung des Heils adding some additional questions. The superintendent refused to give him permission to publish it but the chief patron of the congregation gave the order to the printer to print the publication. Further, he informs his teacher that he had started to write a catechism according to Spener's instructions but with shorter questions and answers. He also shares his joy over the improvement in religious instruction: previously the peasants had come only for 2-4 weeks of religious instruction; he had successfully introduced the period of 9-10 weeks for this purpose (3).

To sum up the contents of other letters, it must be stated that Gutsleff himself, together with his pietistic colleagues, were making efforts to improve the spiritual, educational and cultural situation of the peasants. Corresponding changes were made with regard to worship services, religious meetings, and Bible study meetings. His letters reveal that these endeavors had begun to bear some fruit. He can express gratitude for the signs of desire for deeper piety and real faith.

With the passage of time, the strength of the resisting forces in orthodoxy was bound to decrease. It was forced to give way to the new movement. Some key figures played a special role in this struggle,

1 His letter written January 3, 1707 from Tallinn; September 2, 1709;

June 20 1711.

2 June 20, 1711.

3 A letter written November 5, 1713.




particularly H. Gutsleff, A. A. Vierorth in Estonia, and C. G. Neuhausen in Livonia. They had labored hard and their effort began to bear dividends. As S. Neuhaus reported in the spring of 1729 the twenty years past had brought about a change in the situation favorable to the new movement. The supporters of the orthodoxists fell into disrespect and were gradually dying away, thus relinquishing their places to supporters of Pietism (1).

The arrival of Christoph Friedrich Mickwitz from Halle must certainly be considered a turning point in the history of the struggle and steady expansion of the new movement. His career is typical - from an estate to the parsonage. After a short period as a private tutor he obtained an important position for the furtherance of the movement - he became the chief pastor at the cathedral of Tallinn (2). This was a major event in the steadily improving situation. A. A. Vierorth reported this news to Francke and added that if the duty of examination of the country pastors and their ordination remained in his hands according to the previous order a 'great door' would thereby have been opened to the pietistic spirit (3).

We are fortunate to have an even more detailed report about the situation four years after Mickwitz moved into the cathedral. This is included in a letter which he wrote. In it he gives an account in terms of figures about the pietists who at that time were working in North Estonia. His report counts 22 pastors, 7 rectors and co-rectors, several cantors and also several students (4). In order to retain and carry forward the spirit and mentality of Halle they remained in personal contact with one another, either by correspondence or personal visits, private visitations and synodical meetings, for the purpose of mutually supporting and encouraging one another.

1 'Was überhaupt das Reich Gottes in diesem Lande betritt, so sehets damit

freylich gantz anders aus, als es vor etlichen u. 20 Jahren ausgesehen hat, da

Niemand von der neuen Gebuhrt u.d.g. ein Wörtchen auf der Canzel melden

dürfen, wenn er nicht hat wollen angegriffen werden: ietzo aber achtet man

solche Prediger nicht, die nicht aus eigner Erfahrung als lebendige Zeugen

von solchen practischen Wahrheiten zeugen konnen. Einige wenige sind

noch unter den Alten übrig, die die orthodoxie vermeinen zu haben, aber ihre

orthodoxie gilt im Lande gantz nicht mehr. . .', A letter written on March 28,

1729, Ms. Nachlass A. H. Francke, XXVIII, Staatsbibliothek Berlin.

2 He held this position from 1724 till 1748.

3 A letter written February 25, 1724 from St. Petersburg.

4 A letter written April 26, 1728 to Missionary Walter.





Since the pietistic movement was expanding steadily through the activities of private tutors - whose number also was increasing - measures were undertaken to exercise greater control over this channel of infiltration. The fight against the influx of the strength that emanated from Halle even involved the University of Tartu embroiling it in the struggle. In 1693, an appeal to the king and later to the Chancellor Dahlbergh to take action in this respect was made. As a result, a special edict was issued in March, 1698 giving directives on the role of the university in this struggle. The university thus became the central authoritative agency invested with the power to control all private tutors, to examine them as to their background, mentality and attitude in matters of doctrine and faith and in respect to their qualifications and ability to teach. So it was that in the heat of the battle, a situation arose in which the university became the custodian of the purity of the orthodox Lutheran doctrines. This had a very damaging effect upon the institute of the tutors (1) - as was duly pointed out by those who fought against such measures (2). The regulations were later supplemented by others designed to tighten control over such foreign influence. An edict issued by King Carl XII in June, 1706 regulated travelling abroad by requiring a test of reliability in matters of faith. Further upon their return from abroad, the students had to give a detailed account of their stay and activities in the country where they had studied. These measures evoked opposition particularly from the towns (3). Nevertheless, these restrictions were supplemented by the introduction of the censorship of books in the same year. It became illegal to publish, import, sell and disseminate publications which were adjudged heterodox in character and as such, dangerous from the orthodox point of view (4).

1 It brought the institution of the tutors into disrepute thus harming the

educational work carried out by them. The results of this decree are described

in a memorandum which was handed in to the consistory and the curator of the

university, v. RAUCH, Die Universität Dorpat and das Eindringen der frühen

Aufklarung in Livland, p. 199ff.

2 Dean Ernst Glück, well known for his contribution to the history of Latvian

literature, reacted energetically and wrote to the consistory and the curator of

the university.

3 v. RAUCH, Die Universität Dorpat und das Eindringen der frühen Aufklärung,

p. 207ff.

4 Ibid., p. 212f.



Pastors who represented the spirit of Halle had quite a hard time. J. H. Callenberg reports in an entry for the years 1709 and 1710 that in Livonia those inclined towards the true piety had suffered hardships and hatred. The threat of declaring them sectarian had constantly been held over their heads (1). The same situation is reflected in a letter written by Heinrich Gutsleff from Tallinn (2).

These measures proved to be insufficient. Others were needed to protect the endangered orthodoxy. The case of Christian Gotthold Neuhausen who had entered the Paedagogium of Francke in 1699, and who had completed his studies at the University of Halle serves as an illustration. He reports that, as a consequence of the royal decree instigated by J. F. Mayer, those who represented true piety and particularly those who came from the University of Halle (Academici Hallenses) were subjected to harassment and vexation. His own case was an instance in point. He was forced under duress to promise that he would never take on pastoral duties in a congregation (3).

Despite all these measures of control, restriction and harassment, the results were still negligible. The climate became the more hysterical in the search for ways to protect pure orthodox doctrine and practice. In order to combat what were regarded as fanatical tendencies, things even went to the point of initiating lawsuits against clergymen and teachers suspected of the heresy of Pietism. Court proceedings were launched one after another. The consistory of Pärnu established a notorious reputation in this respect (4).

As time moved on, the strength and the vehemence of orthodox position decreased. It was compelled to give way to the new movement. The consistory of Tallinn was the most tenacious and maintained the opposition. The consistory of Estonia was more lenient; it tended to tolerate the activites of the pietists wherever the latter were able to press through their demands. A struggle of decades finally brought about a change in the situation favorable to the pietists.

1 'Neuste Kirchenhistorie von 1689-1724'.2 Written April 18, 1706 in Tallinn, Ms. C ,3, Hauptbibliothek, Halle.3 Because of the great scarcity of pastors, as a result of the pestilence and the war in

1710, he agreed to take temporary duties upon himself on the basis of the proposal

and was permitted to ordain himself; he was first sent to Cesis and later to Valmiera.

4 Cf. K. SEDERHOLM, 'Theodor Crügers. . . Prozess wegen eingeführter collegia

pietatis und Irrlehren', in: Mitteilungen und Nachrichten VII (1848), p. 425ff.





In the Northern War, Estonia became the theatre for another fatal act of destruction, an act so grievous that it threatened the very existence of the nation. It became a victim of the powerhungry nations in their endless struggles.

When the Russian armies invaded the Baltic area they carried out 'scorched earth' tactics (1). The first victims (2) were Alutaguse and the rest of Virumaa in 1700 (3). Wherever these hordes came the land was desecrated. In 1704. Tartu (4) and Narva (5) fell under the Russian attacks. An eyewitness who left Tartu in 1702 reported that among many other buildings the churches of the Dominican monastery, of the Franciscan monastery, of the convent of the Franciscan nuns and of the convent of the Cistercian nuns, were mere heaps of stones - all showed no trace of their prior existence (6).

In the following years the Russians reduced the land to ashes (7). In 1708 the inhabitants of Narva and Tartu were deported to Russia, the fortifi-

1 The czar ordered the complete destruction of the country in order to

prevent any support for Sweden.

2 H. SEPP, Narva piiramine ja lahing a. 1700 (Tallinn 1930);

cf. Jahresbericht der estnischen Philologie und Geschichle XIII

(Tartu 1930), VIII, nr. 273, p. 160

3 KELCH, Lifländische Historien, Continuation. p. 134

4 Ibid., p. 372, 386ff, cf. F. BIENEMANN, Die Kafastrophe der

Stadt Dorpat während des Nordischen Krieges (Reval 1902).

5 KELCH, Lifländische Historien, Continuation. p. 374, 405ff.

6 A. MÖLLER, Fata Dorpati (Vasterås 1755), p. 12ff.

7 KELCH, Lifländische Historien, Continuation, p. 430f.




cation of Tartu was destroyed and the town burned down. In March, 1710, the Russians invaded Saaremaa and the island of Muhu. Although this invasion lasted only a brief time inasmuch as the invaders wanted to reach the continent before the beginning of the thaw, they scorched the island so extensively that only two parishes escaped (1). Kuressaare was turned into ruins. Many churches and sacral buildings shared the same fate.

Sufferings of the people who fell into the hands of the Russians defy description. Chronicles give detailed accounts as to what the people had to experience. As savage animals the intruders were let loose on defenceless people. Partly they were slaughtered, partly tortured unto death itself, and partly dragged into Russia. Young women were dragged into the camps of the soldiers where they performed their animalistic acts. Russian pleasure in destruction, in burning down churches, cultural buildings and villages knew no limits. This was a storm whose fury churned everything up - even the dead were not left in peace. They were dug up from their graves, nailed on the walls and desecrated in other ways which these animalized human beings used for their satisfaction (2).

By 1710, the devastation of the Baltic countries was almost complete. South Estonia along with other parts of Livonia suffered most. The destruction was beyond imagination. It included also the life of the church. Not only were many of the churches burned, but pastors were also killed. It extinguished the beginnings which had been made in education, destroyed the residences of the sextons and razed schoolhouses to the ground (3). Towns, villages, settlements, churches were pillaged, burned down and levelled.

On top of all these calamities, there followed the plague which killed a great part of the inhabitants of the countryside.

Then the Russians began to besiege the remaining towns, Tallinn, Pärnu and Riga. Because no help was given by the Swedes who were

1 The parish of Kihelkonna and Mustjala.2 KELCH, Lifländische Historien, Continuation, p. 134.3 In 1709 Superintendent-General Gabriel Skragge in his letter to the kingstates that ecclesiastical life had become completely paralyzed: a great part of

the pastors had been brought into imprisonment and those who had remained

were constantly fleeing because of ceaseless pillage, burning, robbery and

marauding expeditions; his letter was written on November 2, 1709,

Livonica II: 144, Riksarkivet, Stockholm.2. CONSEQUENCES OF THE AGGRESSION


beaten and the inhabitants suffered heavily under the pestilence which had broken out, these towns could not long resist and were compelled to capitulate one after another in 1710. The devastation hit them very hard (1).

Sheremetiev, the czar's field commander was able to boast when he reported to his czar that there was nothing left to destroy (2). The report he sent to his czar, typically Russian, speaks for itself: 'Nothing is left to be destroyed in the land of the enemy; all the places are empty and desolate; men, women and children have been taken captive by the thousands, also horses and cows; whomever we could not take we pierced through or hacked into pieces; all Livonia and a part of Estonia is so empty that the places exist only on the map; but all those who have found refuge in the swamps and forests, in my opinion, now certainly will come to your side' (3).

The war lasted several years more in Finland and in Germany; for the Baltic lands the calamities of the war ended in 1710. New occupants took over a horribly disfigured and desolate country (4). The devastation was so deep that it took half a century before the country began to recover. Only remnants of the people saw the change in rule. It is estimated that the population left behind in Estonia and Livonia was one-third that of the pre-war level.



Although the ravages of the war ended in 1710, new troubles were in the offing. No less devastating was the end of the war with its political, social and economic consequences under the Russian rule (5). When in 1710 the capitulation agreements were arranged, the Baltic German squires hastened to utilize that moment to demand the restoration of their privileges and more. Since the czar did not care for the peasants of Estonia and Livonia, nor for the plight of the people in devastated countries and since he wanted to maintain rule over these people through the squires, both parties - the czar and the Baltic

1 The fate of Tallinn was somewhat different - but here as well the

population had been reduced to one fifth of its pre-war level.

2 Cf. also KELCH, Lifländische Historien, Continuation, p. 590.

3 Письма к Имп. Петру Великому I (Moscow 1778)

4 Of the 38 000 holdings of arable land in Estonia before the war,

not more than 733 were under cultivation in 1714.

5 Cf. K. AUN, 'The Great Northern War as a Pivot of Baltic History',

in: Estonia Christiana, p. 141ff.




German squires - capitalized on their mutual interest. The guarantees of privilege given to the squires were later included in the peace treaty of Uusikaupunki of 1721 (1). As a result, the squires who as a foreign power were concerned only with questions of their own privileges, the advancement of their own selfish and egotistic interests and their own enrichment once again reached for the reins of power.

The liquidation of the gains and progress which the land and its people had achieved under the Swedish government proceeded apace. Whereas the Swedish rule had not only appointed Swedish governors but filled the posts of high officials with Swedish officers, the administration now fell into the hands of the Baltic German squires to whom all power was given by the Russian authorities. The consequence was predictable - the social reforms introduced by the Swedish kings and all the progress in the economic and cultural areas had to be reversed and erased as speedily as possible. The administration of justice which had been built up under the Swedish kings was abolished. Feudal conditions were re-established, allowing no appeal to the Russian courts. Indeed, no courts were needed since the squires constituted a coterie which interpreted their own rights and privileges as they pleased. sans guidance or directive. This position is formulated in the notorious 'Declaration of Rosen' (2) which was accepted by the College of Justice in St. Petersburg in 1739. Among other things, it asserts that the landlords themselves possess the right to interpret their own privileges over the persons and property of the peasants. All this is derived from the conquest of the land in the 13th century, from perpetuated legal orders, from the law which had been established by practice, and from the privilege of Sigismund Augustus. This 'evidence' was adopted by the College of Justice (3) because it was well in line with the Russian

1 Section XI of the Treaty of Uusikaupunki undertakes the restoration

of losses caused the squires by the land reduction under Carl XI. Recueil

historique d'actes, négotiations, mémoires et traités, par J. ROUSSET

DE MISSY (La Haye 1728), I, p. 338f.

2 This declaration was the reply by Baron O.F. von Rosen on behalf of

the Livonian Diet. The Russian department of justice had demanded

a definition of the rights of the Baltic German squires.

3 The matter came up in connection with the case of a peasant, Mölder Jaan,

who tried to defend his rights and whose case had been brought before the College

of Justice. On the basis of the 'Declaration of Rosen' the College decided that

Jaan was not entitled to defend his right. Indeed, had no right to sue his landlord;

therefore it condemned him to a life sentence as a penalty for having made his

complaint. See UUSTALU, History of the Estonian People, p. 95ff.




view of settling the relations between the landed aristocracy and the peasants. By this act the Russian rule sanctioned the bondage reinstated by the Baltic German squires.

The new regime aided the arbitrary power of the squires over the peasants to such an extent that the former attained their dreams. With establishment of unlimited power over life and death, over property and even over the families of the peasants the landlords recognized that they had won the power to proceed without let or hindrance in their total exploitation of the peasants. What the Swedish rule had introduced by way of protection for the peasants against exploitation by the squires was swept away. The system of registry books (1), that much hated instrument in the eyes of the squires, which had instilled in the peasants some feeling that they were human beings having at least some right, was simply abolished. The landlords in their insatiable greed grasped every opportunity with both hands in order once more to determine the duties services and other obligations to be rendered them by the peasants. The peasants who had experienced the devastation of the land now felt very painfully the inhuman conditions which were laid upon their hardened shoulders. In fact. their lot was so severe that it pushed them to the limit of their physical exhaustion and beyond. The peasants were reduced to the worst state, the lowest ebb in the entire history of Estonia. Just as serfdom began to disappear - or had already disappeared - in Western Europe, the Baltic German ruling class found an ally in the Russian rule to retard economic, social and cultural progress. Life in the country which had entered upon the road of a new age was thrown back into the middle ages and pressed into the bondage of a feudal regime of oppression, extortion and debasement.

The peace treaty also guaranteed the freedom of the Lutheran church (2). This 'freedom', however, was interpreted according to the vocabulary

1 Vakuraamat 'Wakenbücher'.

2 'IX S M. Czarienne promet en outre de maintenir tous les Habitants

des Provinces de Livonie, d'Estonie & d'Oesel. Nobles & Roturiers,

les Villes, Magistrats & les Corps des Métiers, dans l'entiere jouissance

des Privileges, Coutumes & Prérogatives dont ils ont joui sous la

Domination du Roi de Suede. X. On n'introduira pas non plus la contrainte

des Consciences, dans les Païs qui ont été cedez; mais on y laissera &

maintiendra la Religion Evangelique, de meme quo les Eglises, les Ecoles

& ce qui en depend, sur le meme pie qu'elles etoient du temps de la

derniere Regence du Roi de Suede, a condition quo l'on y puisse aussi

exercer librement la Religion Grecque', Recueil historique d'actes,

negotiantions, memoires et traites I, p. 335.



VI. CATACLYSMIC DESTRUCTIONof the Baltic German squires, namely, in the sense of complete subjugation under them. The gains of the church in respect to its independence from the squires, to dignity and to its sense of calling acquired under the Swedish ecclesiastical rule were swept away at once. The church was put under the direct influence of the squires who began to determine the politics of the church. The knighthood even managed to wring new rights and privileges from the Russians. Among other things (1) the knighthood received all the rights and privileges which the Protestant king of Sweden had had over the church. It demanded and got the episcopal jurisdiction over the church, schools and hospitals. It worked feverishly towards the goal of abolishing the office of the bishop even though the clergy unanimously wanted a clergyman as head of the church (2).

In every way was the church subjected to retrograde action. Patronage was reinstated. Appointment as well as maintenance of pastors was subordinated to the landlords and pastors thus were made completely dependent upon them. The church - not for the first time - was made an arm of the politics of the rulers, in this case of the knighthood. The subjugation of the church under the knighthood was carried over to the structure of the administrative bodies of the church as well. For instance, the chairman of the consistory of Estonia was one of the district magistrates (Landrat), acting as representative of the power of the squires. His role in ecclesiastical affairs thus was very decisive, regardless of the fact that other members of the consistory were clergymen. Because this condition was imposed by force, the members of the consistory however greatly irritated had to remain silent. The fact that there was now no head of the church (3) allowed of no protest either - it would have been useless in any case, and perilous as well.

1 The knighthood demanded that the cathedral of Tallinn be given over to it.

2 This quarrel lasted until 1743 when the senate decided the question according

to the wishes of the knighthood.

3 The chief pastor of the cathedral had to perform the most necessary functions

of the head of the church.








In tihe pietist pastors and teachers, the native people came to know a type of minister very different from those they had seen for generations. This difference was due to the basic convictions of these men and the nature of the pietistic movement. Pastors and teachers with pietistic tenets were men with a strong sense of vocation, men who considered themselves mere tools in the hand of God, men who were convinced they were called to do the work of God. That faith and trust in God was their motivation is indicated in the way they behaved themselves.

These pastors and teachers were different in another respect - they were men who witnessed to the reality of the Christian faith in a tangible way. It must be kept in mind that these men came from Germany to live a rugged life in a strange country, in a country where the living conditions of the people of the land had been reduced to a very primitive state. It required extraordinary effort to accustom oneself to the difficult conditions, to learn a difficult language; it took self - denial to endure life and work under the difficult circumstances and hardships brought about by the damages and destruction of the war (1) the consequences of which remained for a long time even after the cessation of the battle. Such a courageous attitude exposed their faith in a visible way. Their sense of calling and consecration and their un-

* See page 77ff.


remitting fervor gave a special spiritual coloring and flavor to the service which they rendered the congregation, the native people and the country.

These pastors and teachers were different because they understood Christian ministry in a different way. Their activities were not the activities of a functionary in a wooden institution of orthodoxy, an institution known for centuries as an arm of the occupation forces. On the contrary, they were devoted in service to those deprived of right to the cruelly exploited slaves, to the spiritual and religious welfare of all people in such circumstances. Their preaching did not serve the purpose of threatening people with penalties and eternal punishment; rather was it inspired by their basic conviction to take care of the soul, to serve the purpose of edification and to lead people to the sources of comfort and strength.

These men were shepherds of souls who earnestly endeavored to create and cultivate in individuals an awareness of the kind of piety which is personal and conscious. This vision of the Christian ministry could not be satisfied with the conducting of regular formal worship services which left worshippers cold and indifferent. Efforts were made to seek ways and means of coming closer to the souls of individuals. Sermons were designed to edify the faithful and great emphasis was laid on the importance of prayer and the reading of the Bible.

These endeavors inspired by men motivated by a deep sense of calling, could not have remained without fruit. Something in the soul of the people began to thaw, although one cannot speak of any wider movement. However, that deeper religious experiences found some echo among the indigenous people, is corroborated by the testimony which comes from several authors. H. Gutsleff in 1711 speaks of some phenomena which began to emerge among the peasants (1). C. F. Mickwitz in 1728 speaks of some good movements representing a deeper religious life among the indigenous people (2). This is also the testimony given by J. C. Quandt regarding the members of his parish of Urvaste (3).

1 His letter of June 20, 1711; Ms. C 35, Hauptbibliothek des Waisenhauses,


2 His letter dated April 26, 1728 and sent to Missionary Walter; Ms A. 116,

Hauptbibliothek, Halle.

3 According to him an awakening movement started in his parish before the

arrival of the Herrnhuters.




Yet, insofar as the relationship between the pietist pastors and the people is concerned, there was very little change. Circumstances did not allow the evocation of trust and confidence by the people, and they were therefore unable to come closer to the soul of the people. Regardless of their theologically different way of thinking, their religion did not have such bearing upon life that it would have caused sufficient change in the ecclesiastical and religious climate to occasion a breakthrough in the soul of the people. These pastors still enjoyed the usual role of lords of the estates to whom the peasants had to render heavy burdens. Socially they had little intercourse with the people and usually did not have adequate knowledge of the language of their flocks which set them apart from their congregations all the more. Furthermore, these pastors depended entirely upon the squires for their existence and had to perform tlieir dutiful service in the name of God to keep the peasants obedient and submissive.2. STIMULI IN THE AREA OF SOCIAL CONCERNFinally, these pastors and teachers were different because, in seeking for the ways of means, they revealed not only a humane but a warm understanding of the slaves who had up to that time (1) found no such understanding (2). What runs through all the records preserved in the correspondence of these men (3) is this: their compassion for people suffering under inhuman conditions and held in the bonds of slavery. The hu-

1 Adam Olearius, the well-known author and world traveller, describes both the

bestial form of slavery in which the peasants were kept and the brutality of the

squires in handling their victims. One of his original illustrations includes a scene

of the scourging of peasants on the estate of a squire. Offt begehrte Beschreibung

Der Newen Orientalischen Reise (1647).

2 The kind of propaganda that the Baltic German ruling class disseminated about

the peasants and which they showered upon every visitor who came and saw such

brutality, is related by a traveller who visited the country in 1666-70. It is a statement

which in stereotyped form recurs in other sources:

"So schlecht undt ehlendt Sie auch leben, sindt Sie doch vergnüget u. können ehr

einen bösen als guten Tag vertragen; denn wer Ihnen viel gutes will thun, dem

thun Sie gewiss böses; dero wegen Sie alle Zeit in der Sclaverey erhalten u. nicht

Anderst gewohnet werden müssen", Hans Moritz Ayrmann Heisen durch Livland

und Russland in den Jahren 1666-1670, herausgegeben von K. SCHREINERT

(Tartu 1937) = EVTÜ1T B XL, 5, p. 35.3 Ms. Nachlass A. H. Francke, XXVIII, Staatsbibliothek, Berlin.



mane tone which permeates these letters, namely that in a suffering body one's soul also suffers, reveals the true spiritual face of these men. Since they were concerned with the everyday life of the people, including their daily material and physical needs, their plight and inhuman fate, they were able to establish better relationships with the people than the orthodox pastors. Their pastoral and educational work imparted a different complexion to the work of ministry than that which the orthodox camp manifested and this had its fruition in the hearts and lives of many.

The pietists were of the disposition to understand the situation of the native peasants, to notice the extreme misery of their life - slavery had reduced them to a state of poverty, socially and economically (1). A humane recognition that all this was bound to affect the spiritual, moral and religious life of the peasants was needed, and the pietist pastors and teachers did just that. H. Gutsleff, who had the opportunity to see with his own eyes the work of Francke and to observe how social injustice and plight could be alleviated, is a good illustration in this respect. He was a man who could not remain indifferent vis a vis the excruciating slavery of the peasants and their extreme misery. He felt deep sympathy for the people and in writing to his spiritual father A. H. Francke, he describes the pitiful misery of the people, the social and economic misery which eventuates in an even more paralyzing condition of the spiritual, ethical and religious life (2).

The pietists did not remain mere observers of the circumstances. They set the example - insofar as conditions permitted, they tried to alleviate the pains and misery of the victims of injustice. Their activities and efforts were directed toward helping the poor, the destitute, and the orphaned. The pattern of Francke's work of charity hovered before their eyes and it came to fruition whenever circumstances allowed. In this respect some insights into their endeavors may be glimpsed in the correspondence of the leading pietists, when discussing their

1 H. Gutsleff describes slavery of the indigenous people as incredibly brutal,

see his letter of September 5, 1713 sent to Francke; Ms. C 35, Hauptbibliothek

des Waisenhauses, Halle.

2 'Ist ein Bauer mit Weib allein im Gesinde, so muss er wöchentlich mit seinem

eignen Unterhalt dem Herrn, nachdem er gelind oder strong ist, 3 Tage, 4

Tage oder wol zuweilen die ganze Woche Dienste thun, dass er manchmal in

etlichen Wochen sein Haus mit dem Rücken ansehen muss', a report written by

H. Gutsleff and sent to Francke, dated April 17, 1716, Ms. C 35, Hauptbibliothek

des Waisenhauses, Halle.




concerns and talking about matters which lay so heavily upon their hearts. The testimony of C. F. Mickwitz is illuminating. He confesses that his concern and interest in the care of the poor grew as a result of his piety. In one section he speaks of the care of the poor and of support for poor widows and orphans. There are orphans under his care who had to receive complete support from the orphanage. Others received half of their support in clothing and books. In the same letter he states that the building of a small house for the orphans was to begin on that very day (1).

The imitation of Francke's deeds of mercy and establishments in the service of love were able to create some replicas - though of much smaller dimension. It is instructive in this respect that a report which S. Nauhaus wrote in 1728 - about his arrival in Tallinn and of the impressions he received there - points to a certain similarity between the institutions of Halle and the educational and caritative establishment in Tallinn. Even the locus reminded him of Halle: the establishment at Tallinn was also located near the gate of the town, more - a hotel and a tavern had previously stood on the spot. Neuhaus found to his surprise that the establishment at Tallinn reminded him of the orphanage at Halle in certain other respects as well (2).

The pietists in some cases succeeded in rousing a similar interest among the pietistically inclined ruling class. This resulted in their willingness to assist in such efforts and in offering their help. This was the case with the establishment of Albu. In imitation of the establishments of Francke and in cooperation with the disciples of Francke, under the leadership of H. C. Wrede who seems to be the originator of the idea. Baron M. W. von Nieroth (3) opened an orphanage and school for German and Estonian children (4) on his estate of Albu. The letters written by H. C. Wrede to Francke have preserved detailed information about this undertaking. The purpose of the establishment was to give shelter to the orphans and to provide them with an education. Until adequate rooms were built and arranged at Albu, the school was con-

1 His letter of April 26, 1728, to a Missionary Walter.2 So the gathering of worship reminded him of the situation at home; even thehymnal of Freylinghausen was used here as in the church of the school at Halle;

a letter written September 18, 1728.

3 Since 1718, vice-president of the collegium of finance in St. Petersburg.

4 His letter written in 1722, Ms. Nachlass A. H. Francke, XXVIII,

Staatsbibliothek, Berlin.


ducted and maintained at Seidla. At that time, there were 28 German boys in the establishment. The Estonian boys lived in the schoolhouse at the church about one km. from Albu. Their number also was 28. In 1719 the school was opened at Albu. The directorship was put into the hands of H. C. Wrede, the pastor of Harju-Jaani, although the establishment was in the parish of Madise - but the local pastor did not care for this work. It is clear that that which the originators had in mind was a duplication of the establishment of Francke. One of the letters of H. C. Wrede brings this out quite explicitly: he asked for tutors from Halle who would teach Christian religion, Latin, mathematics and other subjects as in the Paedagogium of Halle (1). The establishment entered the path of growth and success. In this school the orphans had everything free, the others had to pay tuition according to financial strength, annually from 10 through 30 talers. In 1723 the German school had 100 boys and the Estonian school nearly 50 boys. By that time it was felt that the number of students was too large for adequate educational instruction by a limited number of tutors. Further success of this institution, which remained an exception, was marred by difficulties which originated in the leadership - fantastic plans by the baron (2) which Wrede could not share (3).



In the ministry of the pietistic pastors, special attention was given to the children and their instruction. In fact, this concern for teaching occupies such a prominent place in the working activities of the pietists that it demands special comment. This time our sources flow more freely. Almost every document has something to say about this matter. The best no doubt comes from a report H. Gutsleff wrote in 1719 about his work in Kullamaa to his friend in Halle. In it, he speaks of the instruction of the 'poor slaves' in his parish Kullamaa. He describes

1 His letter of February 19, 1719, ibid. XXVIII.2 About his plan to establish here a Collegium Arabicum for the conversion

of the Islamic people in the Russian empire, see also WINTER, Halle als

Ausgangspunkt, p. 267ff.

3 In his letter of July 13, 1724. He speaks of his plans to establish a printing-

office, textile manufacture, and all kinds of factories; recently he had sent

craftsmen in wall-papering there. Wrede had tried to reduce the number of

unnecessary workers.




the reforms he introduced into teaching: instead of one period, he had arranged for instruction of children in 3 or 4 periods and for the grown-up youth, 3 periods. In the first two periods, instruction lasted 3 weeks, the third period 4 weeks. If it was necessary for the work, he summoned his pupils for a 4th period. His report clearly indicates the extent of the difference introduced by the Halle spirit. He states that everyone made distinctions between the 'new' and the 'old' instruction. The 'new' type meant the coming of children and families for instruction for 10, 13, 15 weeks, and in which the catechism was taught in conjunction with explanations and teaching was carried out in an intelligible manner. Gutsleff adds that the new way of teaching produced good results. It is with satisfaction that he writes that even mothers with children learned to read. He points out that children responded well and were eager to learn reading (1).

In Hargla, where E. D. Hövel (2), another alumnus of Francke's institution, served as pastor, we see similar endeavors to raise the level of teaching through improved catechization coupled with visitations to homes with children. This man, aware of the fact that the backwardness in Christian knowledge was due to the indescribable slavery of the people, made continuous efforts towards enriching and deepening his program. Catechization was carried out in the church after the sermon. In the winter time he was engaged in house visitations in connection with examination of the knowledge of children.

Amongst other information, that which comes from the island Saaremaa may here be included. It concerns the record of a conference of pastors held in 1730 under the leadership of Dean J. Q. Metzold. Their decisions deal with ways designed to deepen the educational task of the church. It was resolved that Freylinghausen's Ordnung des Heils, which was translated into Estonian, 'should be used as the basis for instruction.' It was also decided to intensify examination in catechization on Sundays in the villages. Other decisions were as follows: those who are not affected by their slave labor on the estates, must attend schools; those who wished to come to the Lord's Supper for the first time must come every week for three days for instruction until every one was prepared for the reception of the sacrament.

1 A letter written April 30, 1719 from Kullamaa to Henry Milde in

Halle.2 He was sent as a candidate from Halle; he later became pastor in

Hargla (1724-58).



In fact, the reports of the pastors show to what extent all the endeavors that had been undertaken had begun to bear fruit. The best is given by Holmquist of Anseküla - according to his report hardly a family could be found in his parish in which all of the children were unable to read fluently. Of course, this must have been an exception - the situation was usually quite deplorable and left much to be desired (1).

Together with the bearers of the spirit of Halle, stimuli appeared which inaugurated a new era in the history of education. The spirit comes to the fore already in connection with the earliest emissary in the person of Michael Behrends. In 1699, when he became pastor of the Latvian and Livonian fishermen at Balta Baznica, he began to demand a school for the community and promoted the idea so successfully that the government promised to assist him in his endeavors.When in the course of subsequent decades, the number of bearers of the spirit of Halle increased, their concerns and endeavors in this respect began to come to fruition. The picture that emerges reflects the change which took place hand in hand with the expansion of the activities of the pietists. Although the sources do not allow us to illumine the situation in a satisfactory way for every sector of the country, some areas can be seen in full light. What had taken place in the more important towns naturally occupies more of the limelight.

About the work in Tallinn, a report written by Mickwitz in 1728, is particularly revealing. He reports that the pestilence and Russian war had left the school situation in a most deplorable condition - so much so that for a longer period of time, no schools were functioning at all. He goes on to speak of the efforts made to organize instruction and to establish schools. He reports that a free school was established in a suburb (2) which was in operation under the leadership of Rector Calixtus. The work grew so quickly that Mickwitz had to give him an aide to carry on the work (3). The establishment expanded from one room to a house furnished with a garden and some farm land. In 1728, the school had 50-60 students. The school on the cathedral mount, Toompea, so he tells us, was reduced to ruins some 15-20 years earlier and this situation broke his soul because God had given him 'a supernatural feeling towards children and the matter of schooling.'

1 Cf. Dorpater Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche XI (1869), p. 434f.2 At the 'Neugasse', i.e. Uus tänav.3 A letter of August 23, 1725.



He made strenuous efforts to restore life to this school, repairing the physical structure and inviting teachers from Halle to come and work.

Two reports are at our disposal regarding the situation in Tartu. The first, written in 1735 by J. Pflug (1), tells us that there had been no school throughout the previous 30 years. We are told in considerable detail about 'our school' which at the time consisted of four houses, three residences and one schoolhouse. Furthermore, work was in progress to construct the fifth house. The number of children involved in Latin was about 40 and the number of smaller children 30. The staff consisted of the rector, co-rector, cantor and master in arithmetic. The second report appears in a letter written by Tobias Plaschnig (2) which is preserved in the correspondence of A. H. Francke (3). Here he tells us about his work and the preparations for the establishment of a school for the girls. He had obtained a lot for this purpose from the government and most of the materials had been secured through collections. He hoped to secure the rest from a congregation in St. Petersburg where he had previously served as pastor (4).

Information about the situation in Pärnu comes to us in connection with the quarrels of the year 1718 in which B. Cahl, despite the opposition of the orthodox pastors, became the rector of the school. This is the same man who because of the opposition to the new methods in interpretation and because of his refusal to give an oath regarding the symbolical books was forced to resign from the deaconate of the Church of Oleviste in Tallinn. His work in the school proved to be very successful. Among the students he found great favor.

That there was a school in Narva comes out in an incidental reference to the rector of the school (5) preserved in a letter which was written by Mickwitz in 1728 (6). Nothing is known about his co-workers, but

1 A letter of September 18, 1735 by J. Pflug to Callenberg.2 He was the chief pastor at the Church of Jaani at Tartu (1747-57).

3 A letter of April 23, 1756 from Tartu.

4 'Indessen arbeite ich in meiner Gemeinne nicht ohne alien Segen. Bin auch

im Begriff eine Mägdlein-Schule zu erbauen, wozu mir die Obrigkeit einen Platz

gegeben. Die Materiallen habe von Collecten-Geldern bereits mehrentheils alle

angeschafft, und die Arbeit angefangen. Was noch weiter nothig ist, gedachte

in Petersburg zu sammeln. . .', Ms. Nachlass A. H. Francke, XXVIII, Staatsbiblio-

thek, Berlin.

5 He mentions Rector U. J. Herbers.

6 His letter dated April 26, 1728, written from Tallinn to a Missionary Walter

in Trankebar.




it is clear that this rector belonged to the team of educators inspired by the spirit of Halle, since he appears on the list of those working for the enlivening of the ecclesiastical and educational conditions which is included in this document.

In Kuressaare there was a school as well. We know that the rector of the school, P. Hönn, was of Halle. In 1737, F. Hölterhof who also was of Halle, became the rector and so was his successor, J. G. Arndt.

We are less informed of the efforts in the country relative to lower schools, except for the parish of Kullamaa which was served by H. Gutsleff himself. About it, his own account is available. He reports that his efforts to vivify instruction found good results. Furthermore, he experienced satisfaction in his endeavors: among the children of the peasants he had found very gifted, intellectually sharp and diligent students. He reports that he was able to establish a school and to build a schoolhouse though not without surmounting great difficulties (1). In his school, the children, about 40-50 in number, remained in residence from St. Martin's until Easter time. He speaks of the concern and interest of the parents who, despite their economic plight, tried to do all they could so that their children might receive instruction and education (2). It should also be added that his endeavors in the service of education were aided by a larger gift (3) which must have facilitated his various undertakings in this respect.

For the rest, we must be content with very general statements. On this lacuna, a testimony by S. Nauhaus regardless of its brevity is very welcome for it gives a summary account of the development that had taken place in this area. He speaks of the change in the

1 'Weil nun keine Gebäude vorhanden, so machten die Herrn Vorsteher dazu

einige Anstalt, konnten aber kaum in 1 1/2 Jahren zum Zweck kommen, weil

die Eingepfarrten meistens wenig hand anlegen wolten. Ein nach seiner Erkänntniss

christlicher Bauer gab aus seinem Walde so viel Balcken, dass es unter Dach

konnte gebracht werden. Das übrige liess ich selbst anführen', Letter of April

17, 1716, Ms. C 35, Hauptbibliothek des Waisenhauses, Halle.

2 ' Die Eltern bringen ihnen wöchentlich ihren Unterhalt. Einige Bauren haben

auch noch dazu die Arbeit am Hofe praestiert, und hahen gerne den Nutzen in

ihrer miserablen Oeconomie versäumet, nur dass die Kinder zur Schule gehalten

werden möchten', ibid.

3 A quite extraordinary case was that of the widow of Captain Derfeldt who

in her will designated 5000 roubles - an unusually large amount of money at that

time - for use in improving orphanages and schools according to the judgement

and discretion of Pastor H. Gutsleff of Kullamaa.




affairs of the school that had taken place due to the impact of the work of men inspired by the spirit of A. H. Francke. He states that there is more interest in the schools than had previously been the case. In places without schools, schools were eventually established so that the children of the poor peasants could receive elementary instruction in reading (1).

Additional information, supplementing these scanty data about education in the country, comes to us in connection with the activities of Jakob Benjamin Fischer. who exemplified a special interest in the matter of schools. After becoming superintendent-general, he undertook a general inspection of the schools in 1736. As a result, he prepared a program in the following year for the improvement of the schools for the children of peasants which he submitted to the Diet. According to it, it was to become obligatory for all estates in South Estonia to appoint teachers and establish district schools. The program was put upon the agenda of the Diet. However, he could not accomplish all that he wanted. It was decided that the superintendent-general had to survey the situation in each parish and to improve the local situation in cooperation with the pastor and landlord (2).

The new winds in education brought with it new ways of teaching. The pietists were constantly on the lookout for better teaching methods and better study materials. These methods were so conspicuous that they marked decisively the difference between the advocates of orthodoxy and the champions of the spirit of Francke. The introduction of new methods even provoked a struggle which is reflected in many serious conflicts. H. Gutsleff in 1713 reports that the advocates of orthodoxy were unprepared to tolerate any new method in teaching (3). This is manifested by such serious conflicts as B. Cahl experienced in Tallinn with the consistory and the magistrate of the town which ended with his dismissal from the position as deacon of the Church of Oleviste. What was at stake for the pietists was a conviction regarding

1 'Um Schulen bekümmert man sich auch jetzt mehr als vorher, u. wo keine

gewesen, da werden nach u. nach auch welche angelegt, dass doch die armen Leute

ein wenig lesen lernen', a letter of March 28, 1729, Ms. Nachlass A. H. Francke,

XXVIII, Staatsbibliothek, Berlin.

2 About the founding of schools in the Latvian part of Livonia, see

O. A. WEBERMANN, 'Pietismus und Brüdergemeinde', in: WITTRAM,

Baltische Kirchengeschichte, p. 153f.

3 In his letter of September 5, 1713 sent to Francke.



the value of the new ways in instruction and schooling, coupled with an awareness of the role of being pioneers of new ways in the field of education. When Gernet was offered a temporary position at the gymnasium in Tallinn in 1720, he set a condition - that he would be allowed to use the 'easier methods' he had learned at Halle in his instruction. This position was upheld by the pietists as part and parcel of their deep sense of vocation.

In the field of religious education new methods - which seem quite modern - were adopted. In accordance with the basic tenets of Pietism, these teachers insisted that the material for instruction had to be lucid and plain in order for it to be understood and appropriated by the pupils. Constant efforts were made to develop improved methods for teaching the catechism (1). In addition to the catechism, this concern was extended to the Bible itself. Bible stories had to be presented m such a way that they would become vivid thus making a lasting impression. In the teaching of Bible stories, extensive use was made of visual aids, such as models of Noah's Ark and of Solomon's temple, maps and models of Jerusalem, reliefs of Palestine, and so on. All this involved a major revolution as over and against the one-sided and old fashioned teaching of the catechism and the Bible.

The same concern comes to the fore in connection with the reforms in the schools. It is not surprising that new subjects were introduced into the school curricula, subjects which grew out of the need for a deeper preparation for life: French, their native language, geography, drawing, even crafts of a practical-technical nature. In instruction, an important role was given to practical illustrations. Theoretical teaching was always carried out simultaneously with practical training. Instruction in French was made more concrete by using French newspapers, geography by practical knowledge of the measurement of land. The influence of the pietists grew and their methods were put into effect and deepened so far as the local conditions permitted. School books and study materials inspired by the new vision of teaching of education won steady ground and contributed in an important way to the improvement of teaching. In Tallinn the school books of Halle were in use according to the report of Hirschhausen (2). It seems that

1 'Methodus catechisandi'.

2 He mentions particularly the Grammatica Langii. Francke's friend

Joachim Lange published In 1703 his Verbesserte und erleichterte

lateinische Grammatik.




he is speaking of the town school in Tallinn which at first took a very reserved attitude towards the new methods. In this case, better teaching materials won their way on their merits despite organized opposition.



This enlivening of spiritual life also fructified the realm of literature. In fact, the enrichment which took place was remarkable. Some of these deserve to be mentioned as illustrations of the kind of life they engendered. Indeed, certain contributions to the development of literary culture and education deserve more than mere mention.

It is natural that the production of church handbooks was of primary concern in order to deepen Christian faith and life, particularly smaller editions which could be placed into the hands of as many as possible. H. Gutsleff translated (1) the Ordnung des Heils, written by a Halle pietist H. Freylinghausen, a catechism-like manual with questions and answers (2) which appeared in 1727 (3). It deserves mention because it became the manual for religious instruction for a longer time (4).

H. Gutsleff also worked on other tasks serving the same practical purposes and some of these fruits were published, among which those designed to serve reading knowledge (5) and knowledge in the rudiments of the Christian religion (6) deserve particular mention.

In these enterprises, one need which was of burning importance was met, namely the production of a major church manual. The same team of men who were working on all these tasks also constituted the commission which carried out this undertaking, a task (7) of revising

By 1819, it had appeared in 60 editions! In 1705 he published his Verbesserte

and erleichterte griechische Grammatik.

1 He had translated it already in 1713 but its publication was hindered by the

opposition of the pastors.

2 Jummala Nou Innimesse iggawessest õnnistussesi (Tallinn 1727).

3 In cooperation with H. C. Wrede, H. J. Heitzig and A. Th. Helle.

4 The second edition appeared in 1743 and then the book appeared in several


5 An ABC was published also in the year 1721; no copy of this edition has survived.

6 In 1721 H. Gutsleff and A. Th. Helle published a catechism which was reprinted


7 H. Gutsletf, J. Middendorff, H. J. Heitzig and A. Th. Helle; later also H. C.

Wrede joined this team.


and improving the older church manual. The work at last was in the hands of men who knew the language of the country intimately and who were aware of their responsibility in an impossible situation, namely that the language of the previous manual had been so poor that 'no Estonian could understand it.' This concern comes to the fore in their contention that there was a gulf between the language of the people and the artificial ecclesiastical language so that the people often enough were not able to understand what the German pastor who did not care to learn the language of the people said. In the interest of respect for the language, everything possible was done to eliminate what had become artificial, foreign and unintelligible. The revision was not only thorough and careful, but in some parts, even more incisive, extending to the content itself. Since even at that time there was only one printing house in Tallinn and since it was not able to fulfill such a demanding task, the work was printed in Halle. Thus, in 1721 there appeared the ecclesiastical manual (1), a bulky edition which included the catechism. New Testament lessons for the church year, an extensive hymnal (2) and also an extensive prayer book. Its low price also reflects the basic concern of the editors - the work in every respect was designed so that it would find its way to the people. And in fact the people responded: within a few years all the edition of this very carefully prepared and attractive (3) work was sold out. And this occurred despite the opposition organized by a number of pastors who invented pretexts to discredit the publication, claming that it was faulty linguistically and erroneous in content (4). The real reasons for the opposition were, of course, political.

Resistance to the use of the manual came also from the consistory of Tallinn. When the manual was adopted by the Estonian provincial consistory to be used in the country parishes and Gutsleff wanted to introduce it to Tallinn as well in order to improve schooling there, the consistory of Tallinn demanded from Gutsleff a statement that the manual would not be introduced for use at Tallinn at all. Irrespective of all these manueverings the quality of the work proved

1 Eesti-Ma Kele Koddo- ning Kirko-Ramat.

2 More than 300 pages.

3 The esthetic side is also noteworthy: its title page is colored and its frontis-

piece represents homeland motifs.

4 R. Winkler, pastor in Järva-Jaani; J. A. Winkler in Koeru; H. H. Ludwig in



itself by its reception among the Estonian people. Soon reprinting became necessary (1) and this even on an accelerated scale so that altogether the work saw 15-16 editions. The work published in nearly 100,000 copies proved to be the most widespread publication of the century. In addition, this enterprise had its importance in the fact that it contributed to the increase and growth of reading knowledge among the people since the manual was used as ancillary material in reading instruction. Its clarity and lucidity constituted an asset which became a source of inspiration for those who wanted to learn their own language and found the materials intelligible and understandable - so different from those which had been available previously.

Another major work needs to be introduced in this connection. The tireless E. Gutsleff in 1732, edited an important grammar of the Estonian language prepared by A. Th. Helle, the best expert of the Estonian language among his contemporaries (2). Taking into account the fact that Hornung's grammar (3) was not clear at all and often very difficult to follow, the appearance of the new grammar was definitely an important event. It was designed in a new manner. This extensive work (4) embodied not only a grammar, but also other sections comprising a vocabulary (5), 'Proverbia", 'Aenigmata (6)', and ' Colloquia' (7). Its purpose was to improve the Estonian language of the German pastors so that their teaching would become more intelligible and that the gospel could be brought closer to the heart of the Estonian people via the medium of the clear indigenous idiom of the people.

1 New editions were published in Halle 1723, 1728, 1735.

2 Lühikene eesti keele õpperaamat [Kurtzgefasste Anweisung zur Ehstnischen

Sprache] (Halle).

3 Grammatica Esthonica (Riga 1693).

4 The book has 419 pages, printed in Halle in 1732; it was edited by E. Gutsleff

and furnished with a foreword by him.

5 The vocabulary includes 7000 words and examples of clauses.

6 In order to present the language of the people adequately, the work includes

valuable folkloristic material, proverbs and enigmas, a material which is thoroughly


7 In the manuscript which has survived, the dialogue displays the sentiments

and feelings of the peasants in idiomatic and fluent form. The didactic dialogues

due to their natural and picturesque character come close to literary genre. The

manuscript contained also frank criticism of the landlords and their inhuman

ways. These have been crossed out and a marginal note warns the editors regarding

such passages.


In conclusion. Pietism by its ideals and endeavors and accomplishments, contributed vitally to the religious-ethical, educational, social and cultural life, providing new stimuli and fostering them to the degree that circumstances permitted. It thus secured its place in the spiritual and cultural history of the Estonian people. It remains to be added that seen from the perspective of the Baltic nations, the Estonians have benefitted most. The impact of Pietism was greater in the land of the Estonians than it was among the Latvians and the consequences of cultural stimuli were the more enduring.



Gradually strength was again gathered to resume the interrupted work on the Bible. The members of the team who had escaped the cruel fate of their colleagues (1) began to revive their efforts. An offer made by the printer J. Ch. Brendeken to take over the cost was encouraging.

The final accomplishment of the publication of the New Testament in the North Estonian language is essentially the merit of Heinrich Gutsleff (2), a man whose endeavors in the area of education (3) as well as literature (4) provoked vehement resistance by the squires. He considered it a scandal that two centuries had passed from the Reformation while there was still no New Testament in the North Estonian language. In the committee, the main burden rested on his shoulders. As a chairman of the committee and by virtue of his qualifications he became the soul of the enterprise. He made improvements to the previous work (5) and polished it according to his own judgement. Although its printing started in 1713, technical difficulties delayed the process. It was in the summer of 1715 that the long-waited-for edition, Meie Issanda Iesusse Kristusse Uus Testament appeared on the reading table of the Estonians.

1 See page 66.

2 1680-1747. In 1710 he became pastor of Kullamaa where he spent the rest of

his life.

3 See page 88f.

4 See page 95ff.

5 Cf. also G. O. F. WESTLING, Förarbetena till den estniska öfversättningen

af Nya Testamentet 1715 (Sundvall 1892); ID., 'Vorarbeiten zu der ehstnischen

Übersetzung des Neuen Testaments 1715. Eine kirchengeschichtliche Studie', In:

Mitteilungen and Nachrichten NF XXV (1893), p. 33ff.; 518ff.


The edition is in a quite good and fluent language (1). As an analysis shows (2) the base for the edition was the manuscript which was prepared on the order of J. Fischer (3). This had been refined during the war time (4) till it was ready for printing.

Its very limited edition was a reminder of the ghastly wounds inflicted on the country during the war. As a result, the country also suffered a severe scarcity of paper.

Only when the New Testament in the South Estonian language, namely its second edition, appeared could it be published in a large edition. This was edited by two pietistic pastors A. Sutor (5) and G. F. Rauschert (6) in 1727. This publication which was soon accompanied by an enlarged hymnal (7) so added to the importance of the South Estonian idiom in ecclesiastical literature that demands became increasingly louder to bring out the complete Bible in the same idiom. Yet the course of events took another direction.

A new epoch in the efforts to produce a translation of the Bible began with the establishment of a committee (8) by the consistory of North Estonia (9) which resumed the work (10). In the course of its work, objectives which were set up during the exploratory stage underwent important changes which brought forth new perspectives. At first, attempts were made to solicit cooperation from the ecclesiastical authorities of South Estonia so that the Bible could satisfy all the Estonians (11). How-

1 This edition is in the linguistic tradition of Forselius and Hornung, but improved.

2 This is shown by a comparison with those portions of the translation which

were printed in the ecclesiastical manual published in Riga 1695. Cf. SUITS, Eesti

kirjanduslugu I, p. 41; H. SALU, Eesti vanem kirjandus (Vadstena 1953), p. 71 f.

3 See page 63ff.

4 At that time H. Gutsleff had participated in this work together with his father

Eberhard Gutsleff (1654-1724).

5 Pastor of Kambja.

6 Pastor of Sangaste.

7 This was the third and enlarged edition edited by A. Sutor, G. F. Rauschert

and J. Chr. Clare, pastor of Otepää.

8 The commission consisted of the following members: H. Gutsleff, A. Thor Helle

and H. Chr. Wrede.

9 The resolution to tackle the task, formulated by H. Gutsleff, was adopted by

the consistory as early as in 1728.

10 The undertaking did not receive official sanction until January 1731 when the

commission was appointed.

11 It seems that the members of the committee had a kind of linguistic synthesis

in mind.



ever, these overtures were silenced by the resistance. All their efforts ended in failure. Inevitably, the committee was compelled to abandon attempts to reckon with the South Estonian language. Furthermore, in the course of work it also became clear that the extant materials, with which the work had been started, were too variegated (1) to serve as a basis for a solid translation. This resulted in a return to the original Hebrew itself.

With this important development, the only man who could meet all the requirements which this task demanded, moved into the foreground: Anton Thor Helle (2). He bore the main burden of the entire enterprise (3). A conscientious shepherd of the souls in the group of pietistic ministers, he carried with him a deep concern for the people (4). This was exemplified by his humane attitude (5), educational endeavors (6) and efforts in literary life (7). As a natural consequence of his concern, the question of the Bible weighed heavily on his heart. Moreover, he had independently taken the initiative before official steps had been taken (8). Besides his deep concerns, his qualifications surpassed others: his knowledge of Hebrew and Greek was thorough and he had proven his abilities as a translator earlier (9). His publications testify to his extensive knowledge

1 The lack of homogeneity was due to the combination of different sections which

had originated in different periods and represented different linguistic nuances.

2 1683-1748. Since 1712 he has been pastor of Jüri. Cf. J. AUNVER, 'Zur Ge-

schichte der estnischen Bibelübersetzung', in Estonia Christiana, p. 176ff.

3 In his work he was supported by H. Gutsleff, his brother E. Gutsleff and several

others. Cf. V. REIMAN, Eesti Piibli ümberpanemise lugu (Tartu 1890). Cf. also

R. HAUSMANN, 'Zur Geschichte der estnischen Vollbibel', in: SbGEstnG (1898),

p. 95ff.

4 He was elected pastor of Jüri, because of his concern for the people. Then the

squires opposed him vehemently and used all their means to keep him away and to

delay his taking over of his duties. Although his election had taken place in 1712,

thanks to these obstructions he could not begin with his duties until the summer

of 1713.

5 When he took over this once large parish, which was so severely decimated that

there were only 221 souls left, he made selfless efforts to build up the tiny remnant.

6 See page 97.

7 See page 97f.

8 According to his own testimony, written in the chronicle of the church of Jüri,

in 1726 he had already started with the translation of the Book of Genesis which he

shared as lessons with his congregation.

9 Namely, in the revision of the second edition of the New Testament, published

in 1729, he carried the main burden.


of the Estonian language such that he had no competitor. His conscientiousness in this respect was manifested continually in the course of this difficult work. For instance, he kept close contact with the people in order to find the best counterparts from the living, popular language and dialects for the terms dealing with phenomena coming from the totally different biblical Oriental cultural world.

Throughout these labors of the commission (1) which became more and more time-consuming H. Gutsleff remained loyal to the established goal, indeed becoming a right hand man to Thor Helle. Thus he deserves to be regarded as the co-author in the circle of collaborators connected with the project (2).

Careful work prolonged the completion of the project far beyond his estimate. His manuscript did not become ready till 1736. Serious difficulties of another sort now emerged. The funds for printing, which were available but unused under the Swedish rule (3), were very difficult to obtain. The squires, the ruling class and the magistrate of Tallinn refused to give any help at all. In this hopeless moment the interference of the Herrnhuters salvaged the situation (4). In 1739, the Piibli Ramat emerged from the press (5). Thus, finally, after countless setbacks, difficulties, intrigues and constant resistance on the part of the ruling class, the Bible was put into the hands of the Estonians - after more than two centuries had passed by from the Reformation! Keeping in view the standards of time and the contemporary conditions, the first Estonian Bible is quite neat and attractive in its appearance and even surpasses later editions (6). As to its linguistic character, it employs orderly language in the tradition of the old orthography (7). Unfortunately, however, in the last minute before printing even this did not escape some harm (8).

1 H. Chr. Wrede dropped out of the commission before the completion of the


2 J. F. Gernet, pastor of Vigala, acted as a corrector as also Chr. E. Bieck, a teacher

in the gymnasium in Tallinn.

3 See page 63.

4 See page 128.

5 The Bible was printed in the printing office of J. J. Köler.

6 About later editions, see A. VÖÖBUS ' Estnische Bibelübersetzungen', in: Moderne

Bibelübersetzungen, hrsg. von J. SCHMID (Wien 1960), p. 26.

7 The language is cast in the tradition of Virginius and Hornung.

8 Bieck, due to his lack of knowledge of the Estonian language, arbitrarily

introduced disturbing germanisms, namely se 'this' and üks 'one' in the function


The New Testament of the Bible remained the same, published in the second edition in 1729 (1).

For the study of the history of the language, the appearance of the Bible is an event of epoch-making consequences. It enriched the literary language. It strengthened the position of the North Estonian language and this time decisively. Furthermore, it made a deep impact on the literary language of the country, creating a unified language.

of articles which the Estonian language does not have, which harmed the correct

language of the translator. His willful tampering was detected later to the dismay

of the translator.

1 A certain revision of the language has touched it very slightly.








Two years from the date of organization of the Hernnhut Brüdergemeine - a fellowship of faith established by the work of Count Ludwig von Zinzendorf among a group of immigrant Bohemian brethren (1) the leadership of which was entrusted to Christian David - the same leader made his way into the Baltic countries on behalf of this way of life. He was an emissary coming with a new and vital mission. He and other emissaries found the soil receptive as a result of the preparatory work which had been done by the pietistic pastors. C. David and his friends were able to establish contacts simply by following a trail already blazed. According to one record, the first emissaries who set out from Königsberg to the East found their way to pietists expanding and developing their contacts in this way (2). Initial contacts were established with the Latvians in 1729 (3) and proved to be fruitful (4).

However, the time prior to the visit of von Zinzendorf remained a preparatory period. He did not visit Tallinn until September of 1736, first having visited Riga. In connection with this journey, he preached in the church of Oleviste and in the cathedral church at Tallinn. His charming personality exercised its own very deep impact upon many and made him new friends. A number of meetings with the pietistic

1 In August 1727.

2 A report given by J. Loder, rector of the lycée in Riga, in his printed invitation

sent to the parents, promoters and the friends of the school in 1750.

3 Cf. L. ADAMOVICS, Die lettische Brüdergemeinde 1739-1860 (Riga 1938).

4 Cf. also WEBERMANN, 'Pietismus und Brüdergemeinde', p. 157ff.


pastors were arranged and plans were discussed to further the cause of the movement. Last but not least, he also visited Kriimani (1). As a result of his visit and negotiations, about 50 brethren - craftsmen, foremen and teachers - entered the country upon the invitation of owners of estates and also to be helpers in pastoral work among the indigenous people, at the request of some pietistic pastors. They lived in towns or on estates and as is normal with skilled artisans, they changed position as frequently as necessary. They began conducting services almost at once, and these generally took place during the evening hours. Warm relationships with the people soon flowered and their services became increasingly popular. At the beginning, these gatherings were conducted in German but the transition to services held in the native tongue was soon made - a wise move by any measurement as became readily evident. The sincerity, simplicity and brotherly warmth of these evangelists were their most effective weapons and it is no wonder that the brethren swiftly gained religious influence over the people.

The whole enterprise would have experienced rough sea weather had it not been for the fact that J. B. Fischer who commanded the helm of the church at this time showed himself to be open and friendly towards the brethren. After an initial brush with the emissaries of the Herrnhuters, he changed his mind in view of the actual situation with regard to the effects of the movement and began to acknowledge their work positively, appreciating their religious-ethical bearing upon the life of the peasants. He went even so far as to perceive in the work of the brethren a new manifestation of grace in God's providence intended for the enlivening of the church's discipline and life (2).



In South Estonia the movement started in the parish of Urvaste. As we have already seen, despite every endeavor by the pietistic pastors heretofore, the people of the land had remained reserved, refusing them full confidence. As we have already seen, there were occasional

1 Kriimani in Tartumaa became a very important center of the movement.

2 See his letter, written on June 29, 1742 in: T. HARNACK, Die lutherische Kirche

Livlands und die herrnhutische Brüdergemeinde (Erlangen 1860), p. 46. Recently

this work was reprinted (Amsterdam 1968).


responses, but these were few and far between. The fact remains that there had been no spiritual and religious awakening movement. The confidence of the people was reserved for the movement of the brethren.

In Urvaste, the movement emerged as an awakening movement initiated by pastor Johan Christian Quandt. It began as early as 1736. After the first ground swell of fervor had passed, the 'small community' of the awakened was able to concentrate upon probing the deeper insights of the Christian life. But only for a short time - another wave carried the movement even further. New stimuli followed in the wake of these experiences adding fervor to the enlivened spiritual climate. In 1739, the brethren from Germany via Valmiera kindled more life. This hangs together with the wave of the awakening which had been set in motion by the first Latvian Assembly in January in Valmiera under the leadership of C. David and which had by summer spread to South Estonia. In order to better supervise the mass conversions and give direction in the spiritual care of the new members of the movement, the adherents were classified in groups and 'choirs.' (1) This achieved an effective consolidation of the movement.

As early as 1740 a prayer house of the brethren existed near the church of Urvaste (2) - one of the first known among the Estonians.

The movement soon spread from Urvaste to the neighboring parishes of Rõuge, Kambja und Võnnu. According to a contemporary report, the movement of the brethren particularly penetrated the parishes of Urvaste, Kanepi, Kambja, Võnnu, indeed, even Põlva und Rõuge (3). To this list, the county of Tartu should also be added. It is noteworthy that the royal decree of the year 1743 expressly states that the largest edifices of the brethren were to be found in the surroundings of Tartu. Here, too, was the center of the movement located in Kriimani. In this connection, let us recall the letter of Countess von Zinzendorf written to Empress Elizabeth (4) in which she expresses her wish to see Kriimani the center of the Herrnhuters in South Estonia and Latvia. The movement was able to generate an inner indigenous movement within the general movement of the brethren. One known religious

1 Cf. A. CHRISTIANI, 'Notizen und Gedanken über die Stellung der herrnhutischen

Brüdergemeinde', in: Mitteilungen und Nachrichten III (1842), p. 383ff.

2 Concerning Urvaste, see page 122f.

3 Cf. also M. SAAR, -The Herrnhut Movement, its Expansion and Fate', in:

Estonia Christiana, p. 163ff.

4 See her letters in: Acta historico-ecclesiastica VIII, p. 916ff.


leader of such a group was Tallima Paap, a peasant from the parish of Rõuge in South Estonia - together with his lieutenant and co-leader Kuusma Juhan. Paap conducted religious prayer meetings among the people of his home parish; since he was a gifted speaker he soon won deep influence among his listeners (1). He became known around 1740 and drew many listeners to the meetings which were held in private homes. Soon he started to use special hymns, borrowed from the brethren, thus creating at the beginning of meetings a heightened atmosphere with the consequence that the words of this pneumatic preacher fell on well-prepared soil. He exercised a real spell over his followers. Despite hard labor during the day on the fields and regardless of physical exhaustion, these slaves gathered in large numbers for prayer meetings in which they found spiritual comfort given heart to heart and which they could take with them to their hovels.

This movement, as is natural with awakening movements, was quite colorful (2). Among the followers of Tallima Paap, there were those who became spiritually excited, began to see visions and entered ecstatic states. Others formed a more politically minded radical group, drawing from their spiritual experiences consequences relative to their social and economic plight. These people began to take a more resolute stand, demanding an easing of the exorbitant amount of imposed work from the landlords. Still others became more pronounced in their hostility towards the church and did not use restraint in bringing their feelings to the fore. Still others became excited eschatologically believing the last day to be imminent. The psychology of the slaves directed the rebellion against the source of their misery, refusing to fulfill the duties of slave labor on the estates, organizing the group who moved to a member's home, ate and lived there while their supplies lasted, then moving to the next member's home where the same process was repeated.

As the records of the later investigation disclose, some disturbances instigated by the followers of Tallima Paap also occurred. The leader himself was a comparatively well-balanced man and tried to calm down the highly fervent spirits. By comparison, Kuusma Juhan had less control over his feelings. It is known that after a period of religious activities around his home and neighboring areas Tallima Paap ex-

1 O. SILD, 'Tallima Paap', in: Usuteadusline Ajakiri III (1928-29), p. 102ff.2 Cf. Dorpater Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche XI (1869), p. 455f.


tended the range of his activities. He went on a trip to North Estonia, where his evangelistic work found new adherents.

In North Estonia the awakening came later. It was inaugurated upon the arrival of an influential emissary. About the year 1738 a preacher F. W. A. Biefer, a Herrnhut presbyter, initiated a most successful evangelistic work in Tallinn. Soon the movement spread into the country. Where pietistic pastors held pastorates, he was able to provide an impetus towards forming groups of the brethren. It was the wave of the awakening which started at Valmiera which reached North Estonia, and gave a new impetus to the awakening movement. That is to say, the first impulses for the movement of the brethren came from several directions. In the course of further development, the situation in Tallinn became ripe for the formation of an independent movement of the Herrnhuters.

In 1742, seventy-eight brethren and sisters went to a communion service and formed an independent congregation which adopted all the ordinances and customs of the Herrnhuters. It was their plan to bypass the ecclesiastical authorities in Tallinn and to subordinate the new congregation to the center of the brethren in Kriimani (1). Such plans naturally provoked wrath and bitter accusations were launched against them. These could only serve the cause of the movement among the people who saw in them a clear sign as to what they had to do. The movement rapidly gained strength and developed into a mass movement. Sources indicate that the movement was most widespread and strongest in the counties of Virumaa and Läänemaa.

In discussing the success of the movement in Tallinn, it should also be added that it was very advantageous for the brethren that Mickwitz, the ecclesiastical head in North Estonia, was benevolent and friendly towards the brethren. His correspondence exhibits respect for the Herrnhuters. He even went so far as to indicate that he was willing to accept some of their ordinances but he made it clear that he could not accept them all; nor could he yield to their claims regarding their leading role in the church (2). Despite such disagreements, he remained kind and did not want to use force and coercion against them (3).1 As a result, serious conflicts followed, and Biefer was expelled.

2 Cf. his letter, written in May 1741, in: HARNACK, Die lutherische Kirche

Livlands, p. 41; cf. p. 130.

3 Cf. H. PLITT, Die Brüdergemeine und die lutherische Kirche in Livland (Gotha

1861), p. 111.


Particularly close to the Herrnhuters was A. A. Vierorth, deacon at the cathedral in Tallinn, who entered into correspondence with Zinzendorf even before he visited the country. He gave wholehearted support in every way to the emissaries and evangelists who came from Herrnhut, being very deeply influenced by Presbyter Biefer.

Under such favorable conditions, the movement of the Herrnhuters was enabled to develop its activities freely and forcefully. In Saaremaa, the impulses were the earliest and the deepest - the movement here was able to extend itself beyond anything that took place on the mainland. An awakening movement aroused by Herrnhut messengers had appeared as early as 1726 already. Another wave of awakening took place in 1740 as a result of the movement set in motion at Valmiera. It started in the village of Upa, near Kuressaare. Here it was that Superintendent Gutsleff preached under the open sky from the ' stone of prophet.' The wave swelled into a powerful stream that swept over the island so that many were converted. It was fostered by the activities of Gutsleff who after examination of the awakened persons, including the women, granted certain of them the authority to preach. He also invited helpers from the Herrnhut and gave them the right to preach in the church and in private houses and he gave them the care of the souls who had been touched by awakening. Thus Eberhard Gutsleff, who had been deeply influenced by the visit of Zinzendorf at the time when he was deacon at the church of Oleviste and inspector of the town schools, became a real promoter of the cause of the brethren. In these activities he had a dedicated co-worker in F. Hölterhof who had become pastor of Jämaja (1) and who was prepared to put the ordinances of the Herrnhut community into effect. On such matters Gutsleff however at first used restraint.Considering the factors which contributed to the rapid expansion of the movement all over the country, it must be stated that pastors of the spirit of Pietism played an important part. It helps to explain the circumstance that the movement of the Herrnhut spread so rapidly into all the parishes of the country. This would have been unintelligible had the clergy and the mentality exhibited by them been the same as that shown during the Swedish period. It is clear that wherever the spirit of Halle was influential, there the Herrnhuters could initiate their activities and nurture them to a state of strength. This becomes

1 1740-1747.


the more obvious if one examines the map. The places which figure in the development of both movements are the same: Urvaste, Tartu and its vicinity, Tallinn and its vicinity, and Saaremaa.

Another consideration also came into play. It seems that the Herrnhuters used the interest aroused by the pietistic pastors in schools in order to foster their own purposes, namely of establishing their own schools. Such schools also functioned as prayer-houses. It is interesting to note that even after they had become prayer-houses, they retained their original name among the people - school house' (1).

The interest of some landlords in showing favor to the Herrnhuters was not always straightforward. By way of illustration, let the case of O. F. von Rosen who ordered translation work (2) from Michael Ignatius serve (3). For such characters, the movement of the brethren and their literature emphasizing the joy of salvation and everlasting life were most welcome, exploiting them in their own way - what a wonderful narcotic to keep the slaves numb, instilling a spirit voluntarily submitting to exploitation!

In the Baltic countries, the movement of the brethren became most important and most influential in Estonia. In Kurland attempts to develop the nucleus of the movement and to envelop the people in the country were suppressed by Superintendent Alexander Graven - the movement was reduced to a point of stagnation at an early stage (4). In Latvia the movement remained a limited one and did not touch off a mass movement among the peasants. By 1742 the

1 In Estonian koolitare 'schoolhouse' in the southern dialect, koolimaja in thenorthern dialect. Cf. SAARESTE, Dictionnaire analogique de la langue estonienneII, col. 37.2 Namely the sermons of H. Schubert.3 This 'nobleman' has gone into the annals of history as the notorious author

of a document designed to exhibit the legal foundation of slavery. As the

representative of the knighthood in Livonia he submitted this document to the

Russian College of Justice declaring therein not only that the peasants are tied

to the ground but also that they are slaves (servus); upon the conquest of Estonia

and Latvia they had become the property of the squires who were given absolute

authority over them. As a result, the Russian senate in 1740 categorized the

peasants as slaves of the landlords; it was even forbidden to raise complaints

against inhuman treatment of whatever kind by the squires and the last vestige

of protection was thus taken from the peasants.4 Acta historico-ecclesiastica IX, 2.


community of the brethren in Latvia was no larger than about 3,000 (1). By comparison with these results, the movement developed into a mass movement in Estonia: in 1742 in South Estonia, its organized membership included 2,000 and in North Estonia and Saaremaa 8,000-9,000. It was a movement destined to bring about a spiritual, cultural, social awakening in which the nation began to rediscover spiritual forces emerging as if from secret sources.



The brethren initiated a religious movement of an unparalleled magnitude. In order to understand this cyclone, it is necessary to consider the factors which brought about this spiritual revolution.

To begin with, it must be stated that the movement no doubt contained elements which must have appealed to the people. The brethren brought with them enough excitement: the mysteriousness of the gatherings in prayer-houses, idiosyncrasies in customs very different from the church, and their own ordinances; they brought their own liturgy, hymns, books written by Zinzendorf for religious education; a somewhat lesser importance on the reading of the Old Testament since the redemption brought by Jesus' blood was brought into the focus of imagination, worship and adoration. Perhaps this last feature exercised an appeal in a special way on the emotional life of human beings so well acquainted with scourging bank, whips and bloody wounds. Such persons must have been quite receptive to the outpouring of tears in view of the bloody wounds of the Great Sufferer.

Certainly these are features which should not be ignored. However the real reasons go far deeper.

It is necessary to take a look at the conditions in the church at that time. Since the pastors were linked to the Baltic German landlords through common interests, their endeavors throughout the generations had been to instill in the people of the country the feeling that they were predestined to be a class of slaves. Their very narrow horizon did not allow them to see beyond the legacy of their dogmatic system. Even the theological thinkers did not see deeper. Pride in and loyalty to the Lutheran confession made them captives to a partisan position

1 N. WIHKSNINSCH, Die Aufklärung und die Agrarfrage in Livland I

(Riga 1933), p. 114.3. REASONS FOR ITS RAPID EXPANSION ##111

and a stilted conformism. In view of this stance they felt themselves bound to fight against everything that, in that time of great spiritual draught, manifested life (1). Thus the church developed into a powerful protector of the status quo dedicated to keeping the indigenous people in their backward social, cultural and spiritual conditions. But in becoming such an institution, the church had to pay a heavy price - an atrophy of the religious faith. The pietistic pastors had tried to instill new spirit into the prevailing conditions but their efforts had remained limited. Despite all their endeavors, they did not find their way to the soul of the indigenous people.

Against this background, one can imagine the opportunities afforded a movement that emphasized the piety of the heart as manifested in human warmth and brotherly love - the only thing that has power to awaken spiritual life, namely the personal example of a witness whose behavior speaks louder than preaching. This was the power with which the brethren for the first time in this way acquainted the indigenous people - by exhibiting the Christian faith, by bringing the light and warmth of the Christian religion into their hearts.

The Herrnhut movement was the first to introduce a humane spirit of such an amplitude into the existing human conditions which had prevailed in Estonia for a long time (2). To understand the impact of the movement somewhat better we must take a glimpse at these conditions of the day. The peasantry condemned to eternal servitude was being treated with utmost cruelty (3). It suffices to introduce some contemporary documents as our guides. In a document written in Tallinn, a visitor has preserved information illustrating the conditions and indicating the type of propaganda which was spread by the Baltic German ruling class in Estonia concerning the peasants: 'Since the local indigenous people are in slavery and are very obstinate, a severe and rude regime is necessary' (4). A second report concerns the observations of a person

1 VÖÖBUS, The Department of Theology at the University of Tartu, p. 20 ff.

2 Concerning the political and social conditions in general, see UUSTALU,

History of the Estonian People, p. 99 ff. Cf. also H. KRUUS, Histoire d'Esthonie

(Paris 1935), p. 70 ff.

3 A. W. Hupel could write of the sale of peasants: 'These men go cheaper than

the Negroes in the American colonies. . . ; agricultural workers and their children

are sold or bartered for horses, dogs, pipes', Topographische Nachrichten von

Liefland Ehstland II (Riga 1777), p. 127.

4 Ms. D 111 in the main Library, Halle, written on December 4, 1727.


who made a trip from Halle to Tallinn in 1729 and which likewise exhibits the attitude of the ruling class towards the indigenous people: 'The peasant population is ordinarily very wild and only discipline makes diligent workers out of them; therefore they are often being scourged until blood flows because one holds that otherwise they will not do anything useful at all' (1).

Living under such despicable conditions (2), the indigenous people knew they could expect no help from any source whatever, certainly not from the pastors who, as was common among Baltic Germans, often did not take the trouble even to acquire a minimal knowledge of the language of the people. Their way of life was very like that of the German landlords whose interests they tried to promote. For the miseries and pains of the people, the pastors with the exception of the pietists among them, had no concern whatsoever; in the name of God they obediently kept the peasants in serfdom. Perhaps in justification, they harped on the dogma that the secular order had been established by the law of God and no one was allowed to change it.

But the Herrnhuters dared to be different. Their emissaries, the brethren, behaved in a quite unheard of way; their attitude towards the indigenous people was friendly and brotherly and they treated them with warm sympathy as fellow human beings. In order to see the magnitude of this new influence, let a contemporary document, a letter sent by Co-rector J. A. Hirschhausen from Tallinn, speak: the author admits that entirely new thoughts and ideas have been instilled in him by the appearance of a brother, especially by observing the way the brother treated simple people. His friendliness, encouragement, inspiring and consoling conversation was a sensation. He turned to those who were reticent and who under the burdens of their lives had learned to keep silent; he tried to find out why their life was not better, instilling courage by prayer and the Word. Hirschhausen tells how the scales fell from his eyes and that he began to see more clearly. Now he yearns for God to pull down the partition wall between the clerics and the people so that mutual confidence might emerge and the Body of Christ begin to grow. He adds that he was able to observe

1 'Die Nation der Bauern ist ordinair überaus wild, aber bey Zucht arbeitsam,

daher sie denn offt biss auts Blut gepeitschet werden, weil man dafür hält, dass

sie sonst durchaus kein guth thun würden', Ms. D 111, p. 614 ff.

2 See page 85ff.


the fact that the people approached the brethren with confidence and revealed aches and pains to them which they would never have mentioned to the pastors (1).

From this company of brotherly-minded emissaries, there arose very critical voices deploring the appalling conditions under which the people had to live and the practices of those who wanted to keep the people in abject tutelage.

The biographies of the Herrnhut deacons and other leaders of rank who came from abroad show evidence that they measured the crying injustices in terms of human compassion. We already have seen the estimate of the situation as contrasted with 'public opinion'. These men did not deny the existence of vice, but neither did they place the guilt on the people. They honestly tried to understand the situation. Close contact with the people made them realize the latter's natural intelligence, morality and above all, their great thirst for education and spiritual life.

One important factor should not be overlooked in this connection. The emissaries of the movement who came into the land were independent of the Baltic German ruling class. Furthermore, many of them were not Germans at all, but Dutchmen, Danes, and so on.

Moreover they were men whose interest in the people was sincere. Many of the biographies reveal that they applied themselves with all diligence to learning the language of the indigenous people as a means to coming closer to them. Their knowledge of the language even extended to the dialects. Thus, they tangibly excelled the Baltic German pastors who had spent their lifetime in a parish and whose ancestors had often lived in the same place for generations, but who had not taken the trouble to improve their curiously corrupt version of the language.

As a result, the people suddenly sensed a certain warmth and personal consideration. Human beings who had been objects of a ruthless exploitation now suddenly underwent unparalleled experiences. This was the first time that the hearts exposed too much and too long to exploiters and besieged ceaselessly by the cruelties of life, sensed humaneness and human warmth from the proclaimers of the Christian faith. In this atmosphere of warmth and consideration, the hitherto manhandled slave could feel himself a human being. The attitude of the brethren was regarded as most singular, since it constituted a tearing down

1 It was written to H. Milde, September 8, 1730.


of the walls of partition (1). This new spirit of friendliness and warmth on the part of the brethren found a quick response in confidence and affection. Everywhere the brethren appeared they found open hearts among the peasant population (2). But since this spirit was warmly welcomed by the indigenous people, it was bound to arouse indignation among the ruling class - the squires, the owners of the estates (3) and the clergy, with few exceptions. The new spirit became a target of attack as the official verdicts (4) clearly show.

Other factors were also involved. The people of the country had been accustomed to hearing unintelligible gibberish from the pastors - because most of them had not troubled themselves to learn their language adequately - but now they heard intelligible sermons and clear instruction. They felt the power of witnessing through the endeavor to make the Christian message understandable. The brethren's simple way of preaching was aimed at meeting the needs of living persons and as such it made a deep and lasting impression on the people.

Another factor was the real concern for deepening and nourishing the faith through the care of souls. This care was extensively developed and designed to intensify the Christian faith. The methods the brethren employed (5) were popular and congenial. Special gatherings (6), practices (7), customs (8), manners (9), and ways (10) served the same aim, namely, to deepen faith and spiritual life.

1 In the report which Dean Sutor of Kambja submitted to the consistory, writtenon July 29, 1742.2 Beytrage zur Erbauung aus der Brüdergemeine (1817-18), p. 764 f.

3 A report written by Pastor C. G. von Staden echoes faithfully the sentiments

and misgivings of the squires and the pastors. The document was composed on

August 6, 1742. About the summary of this document, see O. SILD, 'August

Hermann Francke mõjud meie maal', in: Usuteadusline Ajakiri II (1927-28),

p. 208 ff.

4 The supreme land-court of the knighthood strictly forbade persons of every

rank and profession to teach, Protocol (1742), p. 71 f.

5 Cf. C. FABRICIUS, Die Brüdergemeine. Kirchenordnungen, Lieder, Liturgien

und Lehrschriften der Herrnhuter (Berlin-Leipzig 1936) CConf X, I.

6 Special meetings were arranged tor the married couples, single brothers, single

sisters, widows and other groups.

7 A very great importance was given to the cultivation of singing.

8 Prayer was fostered to such an extent that in the gatherings members learned

to participate in offering their own prayers.

9 Admonition had an important function in the spiritual nourishment.

10 The brethren practiced a kind of confession called 'talking-through' (Durch-

sprechen) which was a speaking in an undertone.


There was much more which made all the efforts towards the deepening of faith and fostering of spiritual life meaningful. What characterizes the life of the societies of the brethren is the care of the soul. The Herrnhuters took care of all the members of their societies. Special efforts were made to keep this life line alive. This created an intimacy in which the spiritual life could be nurtured even more thoroughly. The community of hearts became the basis upon which souls in the process of growth could lean on one another.

Growth in evangelical faith and spiritual life was further nurtured by the strict discipline of life which the brethren practiced. Since it was binding on all the fellow brothers and sisters (1) it fostered mutual concern and generated the family spirit with its warmth.

One aspect in the spirituality of the Herrnhuters is so important that it deserves a word of comment: the piety of the brethren found its way into their homes. This is a particular event in the life of the people that marriage and home (2) which had been sacred to the Estonians throughout the ages (3) in this way were touched by the spirit of the Herrnhuters which engendered its own religious customs and habits for the enrichment of home life.

One reason for the attraction of the movement among the people was due to its presentation of the democratic spirit: no difference was displayed in respect to nationality, education, rank, or stand. Indeed leaders and elders could emerge from the peasants themselves as members at their own community. They could put gifts and talents in the service of the congregation and develop them freely and unhampered (4). Every brother and sister was given an opportunity to move on to leading positions according to ability and the readiness to learn and improve their faculties for service. Such avenues had never before

1 Cf. FABRICIUS, Die Brüdergemeine. Kirchenordnangen, Lieder. Liturgien

and Lehrschriften der Herrnhuter, p. 24ff.2 Cf. M. RAUD, Eesti perekond aegade voolus (Stockholm 1961), p. 185ff3 R. Kallas, an eminent author, and one of the deepest thinkers of the last century

has summarized this fact in the following way: the Estonians do not have fame

and power, no state of their own - but one treasury they do have: an unwavering

rock fortress - sanctity of marriage and home: "God has not given us something

deeper and mightier than the chaste and clean marriage - even in pre-Christian

times" Perekonnaraamat (Tartu 1889).

4 The presidents of the prayer houses systematically consulted the 'workers'

regarding the spiritual life and behavior of the members under their care.




been offered to the peasants since the robbery of their freedom. Now such a way became open: the atmosphere which allowed the potential of each member to be brought out and to be freely developed in the society of kindred spirits. Such a democratic spirit, congenial to the character of the Estonian people (1), exercized a very deep influence upon the people. Indeed, they felt that in such a spiritual, social and cultural climate they were in their element (2).

All this must be taken into account in an attempt to evaluate the factors which contributed to the rapid expansion of the movement. But there is certainly much more involved: it was discovered that the movement contained strength able to bolster up the weak, power with a contagious quality, a touch of life able to create life. This element is so important that it must be given closer scrutiny (3).

1 Cf. Vol. I, page 8ff.2 Cf. VÖÖBUS, 'Contributions of the Herrnhuters to the Spiritual, Educational

and Cultural Life in Estonia', p. 95ff.

3 See chapter IX.







The dynamic of the movement of the brethren was the result of a combination of a number of powerful spiritual factors. But first, a word about one particular aspect. That certain phenomena appeared along with the movement which went beyond evangelical piety and approached the boundaries of excess and exaggeration, or even passed such limits, is not unusual; it was probably an unavoidable aspect of the mass movement. A certain pride has always lurked in persons of deeper religious experience. Moreover, the awareness of a special calling and privilege is a well-known phenomenon in the realm of religiosity. This danger was particularly acute in the movement of the Herrnhuters who felt that the members of the societies had a special relation to the Savior and could expect a special salvation. Antipathy toward some biblical books became manifest (1). Other kinds of excesses such as rebaptism occurred (2). Prophetic, visionary and ecstatic (3) phe-1 Some rejected Moses and the commandments. The view that tht brethren

needed no catechism but only their own sacred writings replacing it, reflects

the reaction against the demands of the church which were enforced too


2 Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche XI (Dorpat 1869), p. 455ff.

3 The first such deviations in weeping, trembling and sighing appeared probably

in Saaremaa and from Saaremaa these phenomena spread to Hiiumaa, cf.

C. RUSSWURM, Eibofolke oder die Schweden an den Küsten Ehstlands und

auf Runö II (Reval 1855), p. 234.



nomena (1) came to the fore (2), excited by the imagination of the indigenous reborn members (3), and connecting extraordinary experiences with the demand for the confession of sins and repentance. Nevertheless the movement as a whole was not affected by these excesses and these phenomena remained mere side effects. Genuine Christian experience constituted the main stream of the movement.

The movement generated genuine religious life. The brethren put people in contact with the power of the Christian religion. It became evident what a hunger there had been for a true religious life, the very thing which the official church and its servants, so devoted to the interest of the foreign ruling class, had neglected. For the first time, the gospel message moved hearts in such a way that it caused a powerful mass movement. Prayer-houses became the foci of a movement of spiritual renewal that vivified hearts and captured lives. This movement introduced Christianity as a potent force among the masses and inaugurated for the first time the process of inward christianization. Peasants who had suffered long in war and who had been severely oppressed in peace time experienced a change in their lives, finding consolation and strength for their existence under what can only be described as appalling and unbearable conditions. In view of all this, the conclusion must be drawn that it was only via the Herrnhuter movement that the peasants first really came into contact with evangelical faith in action and in life. This developed into a mass movement of an extent never seen before in the country - indeed, what actually took place was rapture, a spiritual revolution (4).

Such a development exposed the naked truth, that the official church was impotent to generate such life and to meet the real needs of the

1 The fatigue and physical exhaustion of these thoroughly exploited human wrecks,

together with the excessive stress caused by the extended singing of hymns and the

improvisation of prayers and admonitions and excitement occasioned by active

participation in the devotional activities, would easily lead to such ecstatic phenomena.

2 About these ecstatic trends see O. SILD, 'Üksikasju taevaskäijate liikumisest

mõningate säilinud kohtuaktide valgustusel', in: Usuteadusline Ajakiri VII (1935),

p. 109ff.; R. PÕLDMÄE, 'Taevaskäijad', in: Kaleviste mailt (Tartu 1935) = ÕESK III,

p. 123ff.; ID., 'Se velle Lütseppa Jani ello käük siin ma pääl ehk sääl taivan',

in: Eesti Kirjandus XXXI (1937), p. 611ff.

3 The most outstanding example is Tallima Paap, cf. O. SILD, 'Tallima Paap',

in: Usuteadusline Ajakiri III (1928-29), p. 102ff.

4 Cf. A. VÖÖBUS, 'Contributions of the Herrnhuters to the Spiritual, Educational

and Cultural Life in Estonia', in: YELSA IV (1968), p. 84ff.





people. Petrified as it was in its dogmatism and self-satisfaction, it could do no more than follow the movement with growing anxiety (1). Refusing to realize its own shortcomings, the church's irritation grew and in its utter helplessness it began to search for ways to eliminate the life engendered in the communities of the brethren - otherwise the church would become irrelevant. The pastors branded (2) the movement an heretical sect (3), a judgement which has been repeated uncritically (4). Such developments added to the tension between the Herrnhuters and the pastors. Those pastors who were wise enough to refrain from this accusation concentrated their attacks elsewhere - they accused the brethren of refusing to be helpers of the pastors, of acting independently, of receiving guidance from the deacons of the Herrnhuters - a charge also repeated by modern authors (6). But why should the brethren have acted otherwise? The helpers and workers of the movement rightfully felt that the pastors had had time for generations to improve their work and to justify the existence of their church. The fact that masses turned to Herrnhuters was a pronouncement of serious judgement upon the worth of the institution which the church constituted.

On the other hand, the movement of the brethren brought new life to the parishes where the pastors were true shepherds of souls and had compassion for the people. This was true in several places. The close

1 'Denn Zustand in der Kirche Gottes allhier betreffend so berichte dass derHerrenhutianismus mit aller Gewalt wie eine Pest alles will überschwimmen

und hinreissen'. A letter by C. F. Papperitz, pastor of Püha, written in March

1740. Ms. Nachlass, A. H. Francke XXVIII, Staatsbibliothek Berlin.

2 This treatment is carried through in the presentation Pastor Christiani made

to the Synod of 1851.

3 It suffices to recall Th. Harnack's attitude which indicates that he had lost

his good judgement completely. He made fanatic and foolish accusations which

have contributed much to the confusion on this issue. Harnack branded the

movement as a temptation by the Enemy of the church, Die lutherische Kirche

Livlands p. 36, boding danger for the souls and destruction for the church, ibid.,

p. 4. He condemned the movement as 'ein Schwamm im Hause Gottes' that must

be eradicated, ibid., p. 98. It was the height of foolishness when he labelled the

movement a new form of slavery in Estonia replacing the slavery of the body

which had been abolished in 1816 and 1819.

4 Cf. F. WIEGAND, Siebenhundert Jahre Baltischer Kirchengeschichte

(Gutersloh 1921), p. 37.

5 See E. VON SCHRENCK, Baltische Kirchengeschichte der Neuzeit (Riga

1933) = AbhHGHI V, 4, p. 60.




cooperation with the brothers and sisters brought miracles (1) in generating new life throughout entire parishes (2). Those pastors who took a friendly attitude toward the movement saw a vivification of the church in terms of Christian life and discipline (3).

Just how important and significant the movement of the Herrnhuters was can be elicited only from its effects. To that, we will now turn.

In the movement of the brethren, one meets not only with religious fervor but also with the power capable of fighting against everything which threatened to pull people back into their old habits and manners. For example the sacral places connected with the people's old indigenous religion, places which throughout the centuries had remained closer and dearer to their souls than the church itself, constituted a temptation to lapse from their faith. The pastors who had not taken the trouble to learn about the actual situations of their flocks were unaware of the existence of such places. But even if they had made the effort, they would have been unable to alienate the people from the ancient cult places. To these sacral locations, the people brought the burdens of their lives; here they uttered their prayers in their own mother tongue, prayers which must have become dearer to them than those learned under pressure, i.e. unintelligible formulae in a wooden and curious language corrupted by careless pastors.

With the coming of the new movement, an unusual thing began to happen - the people volunteered to destroy these places. In this respect, instructive insights are afforded by a report from the region of Urvaste. According to this document of 1732, the region contained many sacred offering places, sacred groves, and other sacral locations which the people visited in times of sorrow, grief and other afflictions of body and soul. The pastor was completely unaware even of the existence of such places (4). Now the brethren themselves took the initiative and

1 The attendance at the services in the church of Urvaste where Pastor Quandt

served, was so large that there was no room left for the late-comers; '. . . the

love among the awakened was so great and cordial that they would have liked to

be together night and day', cf. PLITT, Die Brüdergemeine p. 102.

2 'The entire diocese became full of preachers; on Sundays all rooms and houses

became too congested so that the gatherings had to be held in the forest under the

open sky', ibid., p. 102.

3 See a letter written by J. B. Fischer, on June 21, 1742, in: HARNACK, Die

lutherische Kirche Livlands, p. 46.

4 Pastor Quandt's report is quoted in PLITT, Die Brüdergemeine, p. 103.


2. ETHICAL RENEWAL ##121helped to destroy such places (1). The situation was the same in regard to the age-long customs and practices of the indigenous religion in connection with work, seeding, plantation, birth, copulation and burial. That which had managed to survive throughout the centuries was now voluntarily abandoned (2). How deep and far-reaching this radical change was in the soul of the people can be judged from the fact that on the maps which show the spread of folkloristic traditions, there are gaps in just those areas where the new spiritual movement was the strongest (3). Even the folkloristic traditions, in which the nation had stored and cherished its intellectual culture throughout the centuries, were abandoned.



Another symptom of the spiritual power and the dynamism of the movement is even more startling. This is to be seen in the generation and uplifting of ethical life.

The faith which the movement instilled was so genuine that it resulted in a moral and ethical renewal. Evangelical faith engendered the strength to turn back from the way of life into which the ruling class had pressed the people. In the light and warmth of the Christian faith, the peasants found strength to abandon the laxity and recklessness into which they had been driven because life had become meaningless for them. A stream of moral renewal swept through the land. Wherever the movement spread, drastic changes in people's lives took place. The peasants refrained from worldly lusts and enjoyments, from visiting taverns and drinking. Stealing was abandoned and loads of stolen goods were returned to the estates (4). In every respect, their way of life changed under the impact of the religion of their heart. The light against temptation was taken seriously; in order not to relapse, in-

1 They were ploughed under and seeded in order to eradicate them from

the memory of people.

2 About these actions and happenings see the biography of J. C. Quandt Jr.,

Nachrichten aus der Brüdergemeine XXXIII (1851), p. 432 ff.

Cf. also PLITT, Die Brüdergemeine, p. 103.

3. LOORITS, Grundzüge des estnischen Volksglaubens I, p. 418f

4. A vivid picture is given in the biography of J.G. Fritzsche, in: Kristlik

Perekonnaleht (1912), p. 112ff.



struments like bagpipes, watchmen's horns, harps and violins were thrown into the fire. Women changed their ways of dressing, threw away adornments and decorations and adopted a simplicity of appearance (1). All these phenomena were symptoms of the radical change of life.

To grasp the force of this impact - it was in fact an upheaval in the mentality of the people - some additional comments are necessary Excessive drinking was the vice, rooted deeply in the miseries of slavery, which perpetually threatened the life of the people. The contemporary documents unfold a mournful picture of peasants whose tragic fate had driven them to seek solace from their miseries by limitlessly burning up life, primarily in the enjoyments offered in taverns by landlords eager to take the last pennies the people had left. At the headquarters of the Herrnhut, conditions in the Baltic lands were compared to those in pagan countries - so rigorous were they for missionaries - they had to battle indigenous religion, illiteracy, bad habits and above all-excessive drinking (2). In view of this, it demanded immense courage and strength to begin and to carry out a persistent struggle. The brethren supplied both. Even the ecstatic streams in the movement directed their attacks against the most prevalent vice (3). Tallima Paap, an indigenous prophetic figure, demanded abandonment of tobacco and whiskey (4). Dedicated work could and did bring about a change in the old habits and customs. The joys of victory are vividly described by Eleanora Foerster, the wife of a Herrnhut deacon (5). In fact, the victories gained were great. The theologians of the rationalist camp had to admit that the brethren were able to deal with powers even as strong as the addiction to drink (6). But the brethren did even more - they organized and intensified a conscious and large-scale struggle for abstinence despite the annoyance of landlords whose income from the taverns earned at the expense of the physical and spiritual health of

1 Mitteilungen und Nachrichten XL (1884), p. 156.

2 See particularly the biography of E. Foerster, wife of Deacon Foerster, in

Estonian; about this manuscript see R. PÕLDMÄE, 'Eesti vennastekoguduse

voitlusest rahva joomapahega' in: Eesti Kirjandus XXXII (1938), p. 283.

3 SILD, 'Üksikasju taevaskäijate liikumisest', p. 109ff.

4 SILD, 'Tallima Paap', p. 102ff.

5 Regarding this manuscript see PÕLDMÄE, 'Eesti vennastekoguduse voitlusest',

p. 283.

6 HUPEL, Nordische Miscellaneen XX-XXI, p. 469ff,




the serfs was seriously being curtailed (1) - The movement was the first to furnish the peasants with literature in the promotion of abstinence. One of their 'caretakers' (2) brought particular honor to the name of his office (3). The brethren thus fostered an inner freedom even beyond he confines of their communities. The sources keep repeating the theme: in areas where prayer-houses were located, the frequenting of taverns decreased markedly (4). The taverns and the liquor factories of the squires suffered great losses and the owners complained about the ruining of their business in alcohol (5). In many places, the taverns were forced to close their doors for lack of customers. As a result, quarrels and fighting disappeared and criminal acts decreased. One report states that not a single criminal case from the entire island of Saaremaa was brought before the courts in the period from 1740 through 1745 (6).

In the light of these facts, we see that the community of the brethren throughout several generations built up a strong front in the war against excessive drinking which was the mortal enemy of the serfs. This is the more significant since this moral battle took place during the dark period of slavery - at the time when there was no other organized force or programmatic plan to work for the welfare and protection of the people.

A stream of healing power flowed through the nation, soothing aching wounds strengthening the desire for recovery and influencing increasingly larger segments in a positive way to do battle against the evils of alcohol.

In conclusion, the genuine religious experience and the warmth of the movement brought with it a revitalization of the ethical life. It was strong enough to root out indolence and inertia. It replaced recklessness with control and the inner passions with moral discipline.

1. See the biography of J. Uumann, in: Nachrichten der Brüdergemeine (1858),

p. 154ff.

2. The Estonian term for this office is hoolekandja.

3. M.H. Windekilde, supervisor in Tartumaa and Võrumaa, published such

a tract for the promotion of abstinence. He himself tells about the reasons

which led him to undertake this task: he saw excessive drinking among the

peasants and felt compassion, Evangelische Blätter (1834), p. 154ff.

4. R. VON ROSEN, Reflexionen über die Aendereung der bisherigen

Wirtschaftsmethode in den Ostsee-Provinzen (St. Petersburg 1826), p. 98ff.

5. See the biography of J. Uumann, in Nachrichten aus der Brüdergemeinde

aus Ösel', in Mitteilungen und Nachrichten (1884), p. 156.

6. P. SASS 'Zur Geschichte der Herrnhutischen Brüdergemeine auf Ösel', in:

Mitteilungen und Nachrichten (1884). p. 156.




In brief, the movement of the brethren gave the people a Christian ethic full of vigor.



The movement of the Herrnhuters also brought along with it other very fruitful stimuli which enriched the spiritual life in the field of education. These stimuli were so far-reaching that they released latent and dormant powers, producing an impetus in the intellectual life which had a bearing upon the whole nation.

As the movement spread, schools were erected which functioned at the same time as prayer-houses. The very names of these buildings echoes their function (1). The charge that under the pretext of founding schools, the brethren built prayer-houses, figures among the accusations listed in support of the resolution for the suppression of the movement (2). Special gatherings for those who prepared themselves for membership in the society were held regularly. The children also gathered for periodical instructions. Choruses for the children were formed. And with the establishment of the prayer-houses of the brethren, foci were created where the desire for education was implanted in the peasant communities.

Furthermore, the climate which was created by the movement and which animated the societies was favorable for the educational work. We hear, for example, that the hymns of the Herrnhuters provided such a stimulus, that many, for the sake of these hymns began to learn to read and write (3). We also hear that regular instruction was given in reading (4). Mutual example encouraged ever greater efforts.

The adults were overwhelmed by the zeal they saw in the young people. A wave of spiritual and intellectual awakening swept over the country. We shall hear later of the amazement expressed by the theologians at the fact that indigenous peasants in smoke filled huts were able to write autobiographies of so surprising a caliber (5). Their perplexity was justified. Village schools provided very elementary knowledge in

1 In Estonian koolitare 'schoolhouse' in the southern dialect, koolimaja

in the northern dialect.

2 This is registered in the 'Sentiment' of the consistory general of the

year 1743.

3 PLITT, Die Brüdergemeine, p. 112.

4 See the biography of P. Treijar, R. PÕLDMÄE, 'Herrnhuutlikud

elulookirjeldused', in: Eesti Kirjandus XXXII (1938), p. 401.

5 See page 131.




reading and that only to a few. Only in exceptional cases was there any instruction in writing. In the light of these facts, it was the striving towards improvement, educational endeavor and literary life in the movement which animated people towards higher goals and efforts.

In this way the movement initiated a culture of writing. This exercised great attraction and many brethren were stimulated to participate in it. Its scope is echoed in the reports about the literature which was produced in this way and put at the disposal of the believers (1). During the period when the societies of the brethren had to live underground, their tracts, treatises and other edifying works had to be written and multiplied by hand. But this only contributed to the spread of the knowledge of writing.

The desire for education and spiritual culture found still other forms of expression. Among these the cultivation of music deserves special mention. The prayer-houses became places where people learned to sing and to sing well. It was a fruit of the new and inspiring hymnody. Children were charmed as well as their parents. Particularly noteworthy are the activities of Georg J. Beek who was given the opportunity of receiving musical instruction at the Herrnhut center in Germany, and who cultivated the art of singing and organizing choirs in Tartumaa and Viljandimaa. Musical instruments also were introduced. Violins were employed to accompany the choirs (2). The oldest brass instrument band in Estonia originated here. Musical activities in the prayer-houses became so lively that several developments of a more permanent character emerged (3).

Education opened the way to higher sources. A teachers' seminary for 120 students was established in Valmiera. It became a center of attraction for gifted Estonian and Latvian students.

The impact of all this was immense. The serfs began to stretch their scourged backs and to stand erect spiritually in defiance of their inhuman fate. Even on the outside the impact made itself felt. Owing to this movement, the ruling class was compelled to begin to think of the need for primary education (4).

1 See page 128ff.2 See the biography of Ello Rein, in: Evangelische Blätter (1834), p. 21ff.3 See the biography of T. Wirkhaus, in: Eesti biograafiline leksikon (Tartu 1929),

p. 594f.

4 One of the purposes of introducing in 1765 the law of elementary education in

parish schools by the Diet of Livonia was to distract the native children from the





The observations made in the preceding paragraphs can be illustrated more fully by taking a closer look at the products of these impulses. These incentives can be traced more clearly in the light of the literary productions.

With the Herrnhuters there came a new life which opened up the sources for an outburst of literature which was religious and devotional in character of course, but which also otherwise was to bestow an enrichment of life not seen before. The repertoire of hymnals in particular, flowed in abundance. The first collection of hymns published in the South Estonian dialect by J. Chr. Quandt in 1741 (1) provided an arsis to steadily expanding hymnals in the same dialect such as these prepared by M. P. Hasse (2), an assistant of Quandt (3), by Chr. M. Königseer (4), by J. Chr. Quandt, Jr. (5), as a new hymnal (6), and by J. H. Foerster (7). A hymnal in the North Estonian dialect was prepared by J. Marrasch (8). Liturgical books were prepared by Chr. M. Königseer (9), J. Marrasch (10) and J. Chr. Quandt, Jr. This outburst extended to other literature of a devotional, paraenetic and didactic kind, the pattern for which had already been set by J. Chr. Quandt.

Some persons earned particular merit in this process of literary production. J. H. Foerster, who was sent to South Estonia as a super-


schools of the brethren which operated clandestinely in Livonia regardless of

the decree that outlawed the movement.

1 Of this publication no copy has survived.

2 He translated Zinzendorf's more recent hymns and used those composed by


3 The hymnal was printed in 1747 but it has no title, however it has been known

as the 'Common Prayer'.

4 The hymnal was printed in Barby 1759 with 276 South Estonian hymns.

Because of the law court initiated against it the hymnal was confiscated; it has

become a great rarity; of it only one single copy has survived, kept in the archives

of the Herrnhut.

5 He was the son of the well-known pastor of Urvaste; he served as director

of the Herrnhut in Germany 1769-1818 and became director of the work in the

Baltic lands. In 1793-94 and 1802 he visited the communities in Estonia.

6 Barby 1802.

7 The hymnal has more than 300 pages, published in Tartu 1819.

8 He translated hymns; the hymnal was published after his death 1794.

9 In 1761; the work was confiscated and destroyed so that not a single copy

has survived.

10 He translated liturgical texts which were multiplied.




visor, was very active in this regard. He established contact with the British Bible Society which was able to pursue its activities in Russia at that time, and financial resources were thus made available enabling him to produce literature in Estonian, tirelessly translating books, tracts and pamphlets. A new center for literary production was opened up in Saaremaa when J. C. Schreiber arrived as a supervisor for the brethren in 1811. In cooperation with F. Chr. Hoffmann, pastor of Jaani, he created an intensive enterprise at this location. A number of books were translated and published, surprising by their large editions. On the basis of the records in the archives of the Herrnhut, Schreiber published nearly ten works in Estonian and disseminated them cheaply, even gratis. This was made possible through a fund arranged by some friends in Basel for the furtherance of his work. In the course of a decade, he distributed 20-30,000 copies (1). This activity must have had great significance during the beginning of the 19th century, a period of drought in the literary domain. J. Chr. Quandt, Jr., also won merit in this lively enterprise which produced so many publications of various kinds - before the Lutheran pastors arrived at the idea of putting something into the hands of the faithful to meet their urgent spiritual needs.The volume of literature produced must have been greater than we can currently estimate. Inasmuch as the printing of Herrnhut literature was not permitted in Estonia, it was printed in Germany (2) and publications were imported clandestinely, without censorship. They were also secretly disseminated. It is not surprising therefore, that of the illegally secured and officially prohibited literature, only some copies were to survive and that often enough solely in the archives of the Herrnhut in Germany. There are books and tracts which have perished without trace and of which we have no knowledge at all. It was in ways such as this that literature was created for instruction, edification and inspiration. The amount of such literature in distribution was of particular concern to the ruling class as is evident in the decisions (3) in connection with the prohibition of the Herrnhuters (4).

1 R. PÕLDMÄE, 'Eesti ainestik Vennaste-uniteedi arhiivis Herrnhutis

Saksamaal', in: Ajalooline Ajakiri XIX (1940), p. 81.

2 Particularly in Barby, near Magdeburg.

3 'Revelsches Mandement wegen der Herrnhuter', issued by the government.

4 Acta historico-ecclesiastica VIII, p. 291f.



Besides producing religious and inspirational literature, the movement of the brethren was also creative in developing other kinds of literature. J. Chr. Quandt (1) is credited with the honor of being the editor of the oldest independent storybook (2). It was published in the spring of 1737, written in the southern dialect, quite fluent in language, smooth in style, interesting in subject and containing elements which come close to the literary gender of fiction. Although the book was reprinted repeatedly, not a single copy has survived - all that remains is the information in the minutes of the interrogation of the brethren who were questioned by the authorities about this book (3). Similar narratives followed (4).Furthermore, even the edition of the Bible (5) which was finally, after many abortive attempts, brought to materialization in 1739, belongs to the list of accomplishments of the Herrnhuters. This great event was made possible due to the interest, concern and help given by Count Zinzendorf (6).The Herrnhuters released forces of spiritual creativity. In 1741, the first hymnal of the brethren was published in the South Estonian dialect (7). It immediately began to compete effectively with the church hymnal. Since all copies have been destroyed, we are not in a position to see the reasons for the attraction which it enjoyed (8). Thus was the culture of hymnology initiated. The new hymns were copied and recopied and a stimulus given to create religious poetry with resurging force. These incentives inspired the indigenous people to literary creation. Powerful stimuli were set in operation to foster the production of a native hymnology. Among them was the encouraging principle of Zinzendorf, that even the humblest member of the congregation could compose hymns useful for the edification of the Christian com-1 He was, pastor of Urvaste from 1704 till 1750.2 The story of a shepherd Henning Kuse, translated by Quandt, together with

two other stories; however the title of the first edition of the publication is not


3 SALU, Eesti vanem kirjandus, p. 80f.

4 Ibid., p. 82f.

5 See page 101f.

6 Greater part of the money actually came from General H. von Bohn, the former

governor-general of Livonia, but Zinzendort acted as a mediator.

7 Translated and published by J. Chr. Quandt.

8 Whether or not hymns were translations of hymns composed by Zinzendorf,

cannot be ascertained.




munity. This principle proved itself among the Estonian converts as well. New hymnals were produced and they provided encouragement and inspiration; indeed, they activated a brisk creativity in indigenous religious folklore (1). The bearers of this inspiration are anonymous; the rhythm of inspiration, enthusiasm and mutual stimulation which occurred absorbed their names (2).

Another gender of religious literature, intellectually oriented and motivated by edification, owes its existence to the same source. One of its earliest exponents was Aleksander Raudjal (3), who, owing to his great authority and popularity, was known as the 'bishop of the people'. Of authors in this category, most of whom have remained anonymous, some gained great reputation. Among those known were Mango Hans (4) and Michael Ignatius (5), the latter a confessor (6) and one of the most educated Estonians of the 18th century.

The Herrnhuters also induced inspiration for literary activity. New uplifting and enlivening stimuli came with the opportunities to become co-workers. In this context, the first steps towards literary production were generated. However modest these first steps were at first, they did open up new energies for life leading to enrichment and spiritual growth.

1 This movement is illustrated by numerous manuscripts which it put in circulation,

G. SUITS, 'Vanemast eesti vennastekoguduse kirjandusest', in: Raamatu osa Eesti

arengus (Tartu 1936), p. 66ff. R. PÕLDMÄE, 'Eesti vennastekoguduse kirjandusest

XVIII sajandi keskel', in: Eesti Kirjandus XXX (1936), p. 249ff., 324ff.; SUITS,

Eesti kirjanduslugu I, p. 53f.

2 These manuscripts show clearly that they have a longer history behind them.

They are not the work of individuals but are collective in character and they were

shaped, reshaped and modified by many hands.

3 'Lebenslaut des estnischen Nationalgehülfen Alexander Raudjal', in: Nachrichten

aus der Brüdergemeine. XL (1858), p. 601ff.; reprinted also in J. ECKHARDT,

Livland im 18. Jahrhundert (Leipzig 1876), p. 587ff.

4 A teacher in Urvaste. His writings in manuscript form were distributed widely

in South Estonia. Besides translations and original narratives on biblical themes

he composed hymns, some of which later found their way into the hymnal.

5 A teacher in the Estonian congregation in Tartu (1713-1777); he became very

popular through his numerous writings, some of which were very extensive. His

translation of the volume of sermons of H. Schubert, a German pietist, is more

than 1000 pages long!

6 After the movement of the brethren had been outlawed he was arrested in

1743 and kept in prison for a time.




The Herrnhut movement created opportunities by the practice of sending annual reports to the headquarters of the Herrnhut in Germany. In order to do this, the supervisors leaned heavily upon their indigenous partners. It was in their interest to help in the development of such a cadre of co-workers. The Herrnhuters therefore began to teach the art of writing in order to secure such co-workers, able to put together reports about local events, speeches, Christian life with its sorrows and joys and news about local workers, preachers and teachers. The case of C. M. Königseer stands in full historical light. He was a man who laid great emphasis upon the preparation of annual reports, and they are in extent and content most valuable. In order to accomplish this task, he organized a staff of helpers or 'writers' among the peasants and teachers and was ready to encourage and help them. He summoned them to sessions in order to instruct them, guide them and encourage them. In South-East Estonia he had 12-16 such 'writers' under his guidance (1). This was a way in which many made their first movements with a pen. On the basis of the records in the Herrnhut archives, his reports are eminent not only among other reports which came from Estonia, but also among all the material of this kind.

Another opportunity was provided by the literary organ (2) of the Herrnhut movement which was translated into Estonian, multiplied and put into circulation (3). This magazine offered information, news, missionary experiences, reports from the mission fields and so on, and was designed to be a link between the Herrnhut communities in many lands. This newspaper was widely used and reports about the conditions of life among exotic people, Eskimos, Mulattos, Negroes and others, must have appealed particularly to simple readers. On the other hand, it was expected that the Estonian communities would participate in the maintenance of this vital organ. A wide variety of ways which became challenging to the most ambitious among the peasants were offered - the preparation of materials for information, special events, visitations, life in the congregations, work, conditions of living, education, religion of the people, customs, folklore, and so

1 PÖLDMÄE, 'Hcrrnhuutlik kirjasõna XVIII sajandil ja XIX sajandi algul',

in: A. VINKEL, Eesti kirjanduse ajalugu I (Tallinn 1965). p. 217.

2 Gemein-Nachrichten.

3 This publication was widely used and became very popular.




on. The call did not remain unheeded. In their smoke-filled, ramshackle huts, the peasants took time from their few hours of rest to draw up lines which were to have far greater significance in the history of the culture of the people than they could imagine at the time they wrestled with the composition meant to be a grateful contribution for spiritual enrichment received. Through materials such as these the organ of the Herrnhut began to publish information about the Estonian communities and the Estonian people for other nations and countries handling in a matter-of-fact way the fate of the nation and exposing tte ruthless exploitation and superhuman burdens under slavery to be found there - all at the time when other literature and publications either were entirely silent on the matter or merely repeated negative material on and about the Estonians (1),

Another type of literature assumed a very important role. It was the genre of autobiography initiated by Zinzendorf himself and fitted by him intothe framework of worship. This genre found fertile ground among the indigenous people. Many biographies of the leaders of the movement were translated, multiplied and read before the communities as edifying works for the faithful.

These examples invited imitation among the indigenous people encouraging them to write down their own life experiences. The peasants took to the quill and, gradually preliminary sketches grew into extensive biographies - often enough their products were better than expected! Even the editors of a theological journal had to express their amazement and to ask who was teaching the poor Estonian peasant in his smoke-filled hut to write in this way (2). Some religious journals abroad reprinted the Estonian biographies. Despite the stereotype pattern 'in the Estonian biographies one can sense the breath of personal creative work, the expression of thought and feeling of a living person that gives them individual and intimate coloring' (3). As such, this biographical literature stimulated other communities in the country and offered edification and many-sided information to the societies of the brethren even in other countries (4). Finally - the large number of auto-

1 See page lllf.

2 This amazement was expressed when M. Windekilde presented a series of

autobiographies by the Estonian brothers and sisters to the editors for publication,

Evangelische Blätter (1836), col. 169.

3 PÕLDMÄE, 'Herrnhuutlikud elulookirjeldused', p. 393

4 A cycle of biographies was published in the Nachrichten aus der Brüdergemeine.




biographies filled the gap in popular literature and attracted readers from outside the communities of the brethren as well.

An eagerness and taste for literary life induced latent sources to attempt creative work - and these were allowed to play an even more far-reaching role in the outburst of literary creation. In this enterprise, the men inspired by the idea of enrichment through literary life, although they had learned the language of the people, could not carry out their enterprise without co-workers among the indigenous people. This challenge was not left unanswered. There were those who grasped the significance of the challenge and stepped in. A. Raudjal was the most important local co-worker of J. Chr. Quandt. C. M. Königseer in his undertakings had the assistance of Mango Hans, Michael Ignatius, Mango Jaak, a sexton in Kambja. The most important Estonian helper of J. H. Foerster was George J. Beek. J. R. Masing, a sexton in Rakvere, stood in close relationship with J. C. Schreiber and F. Chr. Hoffmann in Saaremaa.

Hand in hand with growth by way of experience, higher goals emerged. Here, too, persons were to be found ready to dedicate themselves to this pursuit. This is a chapter full of extraordinary devotion and selfless sacrifice. These were men who felt the strength to begin independent literary work. Their number is considerable. Among them some deserve special notice. Mango Hans, a teacher (1) in the sexton school, had acquired knowledge in German and he was able to translate even complicated theological works (2). He translated several works including John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress. The number of manuscripts which have survived show that this work must have been very popular. He also collected speeches and sermons. By furnishing them with stylized initials and miniatures, he became an early illustrator of books. He also translated hymns and composed several himself and is one of the most important Estonians in his contribution to the repertoire of hymnology. A. Raudjal similarly was engaged in translation work and was able to publish books (3) independently in the South Estonian dialect. His greatest undertaking (4), one on which he worked fanatically, sacrificing energy and eyesight, did not appear in print,

1 In Urvaste.

2 He translated Johann Arndt's Vier Bücher vom wahren Christentum.

3 Also a work by A. G. Spangenberg.

4 J. ARNDT, Das Paradiesgärtlein.




but became known in manuscripts. His autobiography was published by the Herrnhut (1) and from this publication it was reprinted in other publications as a classical example of Herrnhut literature.

The brethren developed a rich literary activity in the southern dialect (2), a creative impetus previously unknown. Even the measures undertaken against the brethren during the period of suppression could not paralyze it. When they had to be cautious and careful in their active work as leaders, they found opportunities for satisfaction in literary activity which they cultivated with great devotion. All these works were copied and recopied. A literary tradition in manuscript form was thus popularized. So strong was the devotion to this work that all free hours, nights and even times of sickness were used to copy the manuscripts of the brethren (3). The diligence invested in it, judging by the amount of the material produced, is astounding. It is known that devout and eager readers had at their disposal even several shelves of handcopied manuscripts. The work developed specialists who translated and multiplied the copies for themselves and others. And this quantum of literature covered various genre. It did not include only devotional literature. This apocryphal material was not limited only to the Herrnhut religious literature, but extended itself to church history, narratives and stories as well. In this way, several internationally known works were made available to the indigenous people. Such activity played a very important role in this springtime of spiritual and intellectual awakening. Most of it remained unknown to following generations for the work was thoroughly purged by the authorities.



The movement opened up still other opportunities which must have electrified human beings who had been kept in conditions such as the ones to which the indigenous people in Estonia had been subjected. Hidden opportunities emerged in the sense of active participation which the movement provided. The life in the communities

1 Nachrichten aus der Brüdergemeine (1858).

2 In North Estonia the situation was different. The only noteworthy author

is Kulli Jüri; he wrote reports to the Herrnhut and composed original hymns

which have not survived.

3 See the biography of P. Treijar.




drew the members serving individual societies into closer cooperation so that they could share in the shaping of the work which was designed to foster their own spiritual life. The peasants discharged responsibilities in the interest of their own people. This was a phenomenon, the magnitude of which cannot be estimated highly enough. The opportunity for the community to express its will in governing its affairs stood in direct contrast to the usurpation of the power of the foreign rulers and pastors of the Lutheran church (1). The new movement awakened latent forces for service. With the rise of a cadre of indigenous workers, new horizons emerged to transform the gray and monotonous existence of the slaves. The eagerness with which the peasants grasped these opportunities can be seen in the reports (2).

Just as eagerly did they begin to learn to fulfill their responsibilities in lower as well as higher positions (3). The challenge of leadership was increased by the discovery of worthiness which the movement inspired in human beings. The sense of equality must have had incalculable effects. Now the German deacon consulted the indigenous 'helpers' and often enough his decision was contingent upon their judgement. One cannot overestimate the effects of such experiences with regard to human worth and dignity for human beings, who at the hands of the squires, had been put to auction on the market place or were subject to such action at any moment.

The few pastors who did support the movement and joined it wholeheartedly widened the range of this new experience - indigenous preachers could speak even in the church (4). The idea of general priest-

1 In half of the congregations in South Estonia, and in four-fifths of the

congregations in North Estonia, the pastor was appointed by the patron, while in

other congregations he was appointed by the 'convent', i.e. the owners of the

estates of the knights. While the Baltic German squires usurped the right of

appointment the peasants had to bear the heavy financial burdens connected

with the estate of the pastor.

2 In 1818 there were 1000 Estonian and Latvian workers In 144 communities,

according to a report given to the synod, A. DÖBNER, 'Die Volksschule Livlands',

in: Mitteilungen und Nachrichten XVI (1860), p. 109f. But soon the movement

grew to 250 communities, HARNACK, Die lutherische Kirche Livlands, p. 188.

3 In the scale of ranks the 'helpers' were above the 'workers' and were consultants

to the Herrnhut deacon. From the 'helpers' were chosen the prayer-leaders,

presidents and the 'fathers' and 'mothers' of the prayer-houses.

4 E. Gutsleff, superintendent of Saaremaa, who was a promoter of the movement

and belonged to its leading figures, gave permission to the brethren to speak in

the churches.




hood was put into effect. This, though previously unheard of, became so much a reality that even women were included (1). All these opportunities vivified the oppressed and ruined peasants so much that it aroused the indignation and wrath of the German ruling class including the pastors with few exceptions (2). The reasons for this indignation were obvious. Active participation in the life and work of their own societies generated and increased self-consciousness. The peasants who had been treated as lifeless tools in the work process were now enabled to discover and develop their faculties. Hand in hand with these experiences their understanding of life was deepened. All this quickened social consciousness. New insights opened up new avenues so that an individual was not only responsible for his own life and work, but also for the welfare of the community. Their readiness for making sacrifices began to grow. Regardless of the heavy, oppressive serfdom and of their extreme misery, the poor peasants began to gather whatever they could in order to build their own prayer-houses and to do whatever was necessary for the common needs of their societies. The first steps towards the fulfillment of their responsibilities strengthened them for still greater tasks.

Moreover, these activities led them to form closer relations with their brothers and sisters in communities outside the boundaries of their own parishes which in the civil sector effectively limited the activities of the peasants. The brethren were willing to enter into such relations even if they had to suffer for it. The case of Mihkel Sarapuu is an illustration. He attended prayer-houses as much as 60 km. distant but his wide contacts were considered dangerous and so he was scourged by order of the landlord (3). That is to say, certain activities could be developed in the realm of religious life long before they could be carried over into civil affairs. The more outstanding readers and workers entered into a wide range of activity and took upon themselves the role of leadership among the indigenous people (4).

1 We have a report about the beginning of the movement in the village of Upa,

Saaremaa. After the movement had become stronger, E. Gutsleff examined the

reborn and extended the permission to preach to women as well.

2 The report written by Pastor C. G. von Staden on August 6, 1742 indicates

the unanimity that existed between the clergy and the squires.

3 See the biography of Mihkel Sarapuu, in: Evangelische Blätter (1835), col. 406ff.

4 See the biography of P. Treijar.




In this connection, it is necessary to add that the possibility of active participation which the movement presented to Estonians in the service of the life and work of their religious societies also had repercussions for the established Lutheran church. The church as an institution of the Baltic German pastors - even after it had resorted to the use of force in order to suppress the peasantry with the help of the squires and of the government (1) - was still in a sorry plight. The struggle was hopeless without assistance from the indigenous people. Thus, the church in its despair was compelled to try to do what the Herrnhut had done. Church policy adopted an aggressive strategy, paying attention to the preparation of sextons and teachers, especially those in the village schools in an attempt to replace the brethren who held these positions with ecclesiastically trained men. At first, the number of those willing to undergo such preparation was very small. It did, however, grow gradually, particularly due to the measures of force and suppression which left the freedom of activity only to the church. The church had understandable reasons for trying hard to catch up; its efforts served its own interests. However, this consideration extended to indigenous helpers in time of necessity was withdrawn when the danger had ended. The assertion that there had been a self-renewal of the church (2) or an emergence of a new zeal to bring the church to the people (3) is just so much hot air. As soon as the peril had passed, the hopes and promises which had been entertained while the struggle was in progress were promptly forgotten (4).

Furthermore, the impulses set in motion by the movement of the brethren were of such power as to have sociological corollaries. Even the contemporary critics from the fold of rationalism had to concede that the positive impact of the movement was immense. The sense

1 The church law of 1832 promulgated norms which severely curtailed theactivities of the brethren.2 H. THIMME, Kirche und nationale Frage in Livland während der ersten

Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts (Köningsberg - Berlin 1938), p. 87.

3 v. SCHRENCK, Baltische Kirchengeschichte, p. 72.

4 During these times of struggle, as a part of strategy, the Baltic German

clergy began to speak about rights of believers and of increased involvement

of the members of the congregations. However they hastened to declare that

first the struggle must be brought to victory and the existence of the Herrnhut

communities crushed, - 'the collapsed walls of the city of God must be built

up' - and then would come the time to reorganize the life of the church. After

the movement had been destroyed and the victory gained, all these talks and

promises were forgotten.




of order and discipline, the interest in family life and work and the education of children had helped to improve the situation in a material sense despite the very difficult conditions (1). Through the life and work of the Herrnhuters, their followers had reached such a level that they could hardly be recognized as being a part of the same nation.

It was to be expected that the influence of the leading indigenous workers and helpers would not remain limited to the realm of religion but would go beyond those boundaries. The Herrnhuters gathered around them an active kernel from the peasants giving them opportunities to develop their faculties and talents. And they responded readily. It was natural that these men and women gained influence also among the peasant communities. As respected members, they assumed positions for which they were qualified. Important functions, opened to Estonians at that time, fell to their charge. Some became sextons and teachers thereby gaining possibilities of expanding their influence. In this way the movement developed a leading stratum among the indigenous people.A religious movement, if it is genuine, embraces the totality of life. It was natural that the Herrnhuters began to awaken national feelings as well. In communities where one's own worth emerged and a sense of unity began to grow, people began to entertain new hopes of freeing themselves from the claws of their oppressors and to dream new dreams of regaining their freedom. After long centuries, the slaves, regardless of their burdens, began to stand erect; a sparkle appeared in their eyes that for centuries had remained dim. That this was in fact the case is borne out by the alarm which seized the German ruling class. T. Harnack accused the Herrnhut movement of nationalism. He can describe the society of the brethren as a secularized, peculiarly nationalistic institution, enveloped in religious dress (2). In his eyes as well as the eyes of the clergy and the ruling class a national feeling on the part of the people of the country was a mortal sin claiming this kind of feeling to be the exclusive prerogative of the ruling class.

As analysis shows, the essential significance of the movement of the brethren is far deeper than the recorded events of historiography. The impact of the movement was indeed incalculable. It represented the first contact of the indigenous peasants with the warmth and

1 HUPEL, Nordische Miscellaneen, XX-XXI, p. 464ff.

2 Die lutherische Kirche Livlands, p. 248.




power of the Christian faith, and it brought about not only a religious renewal but many other effects symptomatic of genuine religious and spiritual power.

In the course of the eight or nine centuries following the first contacts of the Estonians with Christian traditions, no event in the history of Christianity in Estonia had so fruitful and so far-reaching an effect upon the life of the people. The Reformation cannot qualify as such an event at all. In fact, no development even remotely comparable to the movement originated by the Herrnhuters occurred. The movement deserves to be regarded as a religious, spiritual, educational and cultural revolution. An investigation of the historical sources conjures up a vision of the movement as a spring wind breaking into a wintery land which had been kept in very backward and primitive conditions far too long, of letting fresh air into a musty and mouldy climate, creating new life in all its manifold variety and fullness.




Dark clouds began to gather, ready to swoop down on the flourishing and steadily expanding movement of the brethren. The squires even earlier had followed the development with growing restlessness and annoyance. Soon their strategy was worked out and actions were initiated (1). They began with a proceeding launched by the patrons of the parish of Kadrina who appealed a case to the upper land court in regard to 'religious disorders' accusing Pastor Nauhaus, a well-known champion of the spirit of Halle as well. When the upper land court in February, 1742 took up the issue, it informed the consistory thereof and requested a number of members from that body to participate in its investigative committee. A debate arose over the question of jurisdiction and the upper land court notified the consistory that such times had past - the consistory could no longer rule alone over ecclesiastical matters without the knighthood. These actions marked the first official steps in the activities designed to liquidate the movement of the brethren.

In June of 1742, the knighthood decided to write the patrons of the cathedral church at Tallinn, requesting them to investigate the fol-

1 At the Diet of the knighthood in February 1740 the question of revising

the church law in order to remove all dissension in the church came up.




lowing matters which were causing 'disorders' in the church (1). It included the threat that failure to produce results within two months would involve authorization for the chief of the knighthood to take the necessary steps on behalf of the knighthood (2). An attempt made by the consistory, particularly a long 'memorial' signed by C. F. Mickwitz and A. A. Vierorth (3), could not stop the course of eventets. Other signs appeared which were ominous enough and indicated that something was in the air. These appeared in an area the rule and direction of which had always followed the line of strict resistance, whether against the pietists or the Herrnhuters - the Consistory of Tallinn. In July of 1742, a storm (4) broke out in Tallinn against the Herrnhut presbyter Biefer (5) and he was compelled to leave the country.

Another symptom appears in the hardened approach to Tallima Paap and his movement which led to mass arrests in 1742. About fifty members of the movement together with both leaders were arrested and sent to Tartu where they were imprisoned. There a thorough investigation was conducted and a lengthy imprisonment imposed.

The whole action which was initiated was organized on a wider scale. For example, the knighthood of North Estonia instigated similar actions in South Estonia - part of a document sent by it in June of 1742 speaks a clear enough language: it tells about the steps taken

1 1. There was to be no toleration of persons who were not pastors,

but who were holding religious gatherings; 2. the disorder which stems

from the fact that persons of every profession were allowed to teach,

even from the pulpit, must be removed; 3. everything that goes against

the church law must be eliminated; if necessary the patrons can ask the

government for help.

2 Protocol 1742, p. 74ff.

3 This 'memorial' inter alia raises a protest against the intention of the

accusations, namely to arouse suspicions against the consistory, defends

gatherings for edifying purposes as the true work of church, defends

Biefer as well and condemns attempts to drag the government into the

affairs of religion. It was written on March 29, 1742.

4 The house where he was was besieged, Mickwitz had to ask the

government authorities for help to bring him to the house of Vierorth.

There he was interrogated several times and was told that, inasmuch

as his work evoked excitement and disorder he must leave the country

and not return. Under these circumstances he left via Valmiera to Riga.

5 About this incident there is an entry in the diary of Mickwitz: 'Die

Stadt fuhr gewaltiglich zu, seztte zwei Prediger, einem jeden aus

bestimmten Ursachen ab, wandte sich an den Dom und verklagte uns

beide coram protocollo. Damit brannten es auch hier los', cf. HARNACK,

Die lutherishe Kirche Livlands, p. 201.



by the knighthood in Estonia against the Herrnhuters and further that the knighthood in Saaremaa was engaged in similar operations and it expresses the hope that the knighthood of South Estonia would not tolerate such ecclesiastical disorders either (1).

Hand in hand with these activities, the knighthood put pressure on the pastors who were friendly towards the brethren and vexed them in various ways (2).

These maneuverings resulted in concentrated actions designed to deliver a mortal blow to the Herrnhut movement. The year of 1742 marks the turning point in the history of the Herrnhuters in Estonia. In November, the first salvo announced the beginning of an open war against the movement. On November 3, 1742, the government issued pro tempore ordinances consisting of 11 points (3). The most important are: it is forbidden to invite emissaries of the Herrnhut into the country; of the brothers and sisters in the country, a list must be submitted; all new hymnals, translations of biblical books and other school and church books, must be examined before their circulation; besides the official church, no group has the right to assert the name of 'congregation'; without authorization, no group is entitled to arrange its membership, give regulations and elect officers; it is forbidden to hold religious gatherings in private homes without the presence of the pastors; there must be free access to all religious gatherings; nothing, which goes against the church order, is to be tolerated (4). The restrictive measures were motivated by the following reasons: 1. the teachings and organization of the communities of the brethren had aroused competition with the Lutheran church and thereby created a dangerous rival, refusing to cooperate with or to take orders from the leaders of the established church; 2. the movement of the brethren had engaged in undermining the authority of the Lutheran clergy, by claiming that the pastors in the Lutheran church were servants of the law, not knowing what divine love is; 3. the movement of the brethren had put the morality of the people in jeopardy because their teachings and their one-sided emphasis on personal piety

1 Acta historico-ecclesiastica VIII, p. 288f.

2 See an extract of the diary of Mickwitz, HARNACK, Die lutherische Kirche

Livlands, p. 149; cf. also Acta historico-ecclesiastica XLIV, IX, 1.

3 'Revalsches Mandement wegen der Herrnhuter'.

4 Acta historico-ecclesiastica VIII, p. 291-294.



produced spiritual and religious hypocrisy; 4. the intention of the brethren to establish their own ministry including the right to administer sacraments constituted a grave danger because this surely meant the brethren wanted to establish a church in or alongside the established church.

What followed took place at rapid speed. In 1742, two investigating committees were established, one in South Estonia and the other in Latvia, each consisting of two pastors, two laymen and a secretary. The clerical members received special instructions from the upper consistory.

In Saaremaa, the area where the movement of the brethren was most widespread and had reached deep into the lives of the people, Pastor Bonge felt that the hour had come to rise up against Superintendent E. Gutsleff, and the Herrnhuters. His brochure (1) was dedicated to the knighthood of Saaremaa, instigating it to take action against the brethren. Regardless of protests on the part of the consistory that the knighthood according to law had no right in matters of the church and doctrine (2), the course was set and the brochure was printed at the expense of the chief of the knighthood and became a signal for the battle. Here, too, an investigating committee was formed.

However, even before these committees were able to finish their work within the framework of all these carefully prepared actions, an edict, dated April 16, 1743, from the Empress Elizabeth appeared. It was a bombshell. It forbade all activities of the brethren, not only in Estonia and Livonia, but throughout the entire Russian empire. The prayer-houses of the brethren were ordered closed and a ban laid upon their gatherings.

In the light of these facts, the explanation which has been put into circulation (3), namely that the royal decree was caused by the petition of the Countess Zinzendorf, is simply part of the propaganda so characteristic of its promulgators. It is unbelievable that a petition which requested protection and freedom in religion (4) according to the provisions granted in the decree of Czar Peter I could have such a reverse effect. But the machinations which brought about the promulgation

1 Prüfung des Geistes.

2 Dorpater Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche XI (1869), p. 472.

3 HARNACK, Die lutherische Kirche Livlands, p. 82f.

4 Her 2 letters in Acta historico-ecclesiastica VIII, p. 916-923.




of the decree and the source of the same shine through in part in the decree itself: it claims that the gatherings of the brethren take place in secrecy, and that there are peasants who refuse to obey their landlords and who, on the pretext of religious work, abandon their duties to their overlords (1).

The lot had fallen. Attempts made by influential pietistic pastors to avert the disaster were in vain (2). Some friends of the brethren were struck very hard. When the congregation of the brethren in Tallinn was disbanded and the Herrnhut emissaries sent away. Pastor Vierorth, their protector, had to follow them in 1743.

In the light of the 'Sentiment' of the consistory-general of November 23, 1743, we see that it took an even harder stand towards the brethren than ever, even exceeding the decree of the government (3) and in taking its stand, taking all the wishes of the knighthood into full account (4). The death of J.B.Fischer in 1744 which brought Jakob Andreas Zimmermann who was a fervent adversary of the Herrnhuters into the office of the superintendent-general, simply aggravated the situation all the more (5).

This blow struck the communities in South Estonia the hardest, since the edict was strictly enforced in this territory. The upper consistory actually went so far as to forbid correspondence with the center of the Herrnhut, repeatedly demanded police forces to arrest and deport the leading brethren who had hidden themselves. They were detected after a thorough search by their pursuers.

Michael Ignatius, too, was arrested in 1743 and kept in prison for a time.

1 Pyccкий Архив (1869), col. 1391f.2 Dean Sutor of Kambja, Quandt, Spreckelsen, F. J. Bruiningk, J. K. Barlachand Sielemann sent a protest to the government against the investigating

committee; an appeal was sent to the Collegium of Justice.3 1. to send out foreign brethren; 2. ban of correspondence with them and theirbooks; 3. confiscation of all the prayer-houses and establishments; 4. confiscation

of all the school books and hymnals; 5. confiscation of their funds for poor houses;

6. to start court procedure against all pastors who are Herrnhuters or who have

fostered them.

4 On September 17, 1743 the knighthood had asked the government to send out

all foreign brethren, to start court proceedings against all pastors who have fostered

the brethren, and to demand that all those who had had a part in the disorder be

compelled to pay expenses for the investigation, namely 1000 talers.

5 Cf. also L. ADAMOVICS, 'Die erste Verfolgungszeit der lettischen Brüdergemeinde

1743-1745', in: Studia theologica I (Riga 1935), p. 53ff.



The situation in North Estonia was different. The church author ities were more careful with the brethren. It is well to remember that the strength of the brethren in this area was much greater.

In Saaremaa, where the movement of the brethren was the strongest the catastrophe could be restrained for a while since the superintendent of the church, E. Gutsleff and other influential members in the church administration, as friends of the brethren, tried to delay the enforcement of the decree. However, they were not able to avoid the course of events set in action. The chief of the knighthood urged the secret inquisition chamber of St. Petersburg to induce a quick end by the use of force. As a result, the measures of suppression and persecution were carried out with utter fury. In 1747, Superintendent E. Gutsleff, Pastor F Hölterhoff, J. G. Fritzsche (1), and the Herrnhut physician, Dr. D. S. Krügelstein of Tartu, were arrested, cast into chains and taken as dangerous criminals to St. Petersburg. There they were thrown in the prison and kept there. Gutsleff could not endure his imprisonment and died a martyr (2). Fritzsche and Krügelstein also became victims in the same way (3). Only Hölterhoff survived (4).

These blows also did not leave the pastors of the spirit of Halle unaffected. In the course of time, they had become reserved or had even taken the position of opposition against the brothers for practical (5) ecclesiastical (6) or political reasons which were quite understanda-

1 He was a curator of an education establishment in the parish of Püha2 On February 2, 1749.3 Both died as prisoners in Kasan in 17604 He was freed in 1762. When he returned to Saaremaa he was not allowed apastorate since he refused to promise that he would terminate his relation with

the Herrnhut. He went to Russia and worked at the University of Moscow.

5 Misunderstanding and even friction could easily arise from the fact that the

pastors of a pietistic bent felt that the brethren were reaping what they had not

sown, that the Herrnhuters were were taking over persons and circles whom the

pietistic pastors had brought to a deeper grasp of faith. An illustration about the

situation appears in an entry of the diary by Mickwitz, HARNACK, Die lutherische

Kirche Livlands, p. 143, 149.

6 The ordinances and regulations of the Herrnhut operated against church law

since they fostered free and independent activities of the members which the people

appreciated and which stimulated them to work for the movement of the brethren.

The pastors of the spirit of Halle were not against the greater role of the believers

and their participation in the life of the church but in greater part they opposed the

idea of the leadership of these pious groups and communities in hands other than

those of the pastors.




ble (1). Now they discovered that their work also was to be struck down. This came out very soon. When the pietist pastors continued with religious gatherings in their homes, the consistory-general declared that the decree which forbade all gatherings 'not open to everybody' meant that all such gatherings were temporarily banned pending the arrival of further instructions. These, however, never arrived. Thus the religious gatherings of the pietists remained forbidden. Further, they found that actions were initiated stigmatizing expressions of deeper piety and Christian spirituality as excesses forbidden by the decree (2). This direction is reflected in the new policy introduced by the new superintendent-general J. A. Zimmermann in regard to candidates for ordination. He demanded a written declaration and promise (reverse) which included a stipulation which affected the tenets and interests of the pietists in a serious way (3).Now when the existence of the communities of the brethren was virtually disrupted, paralysis set in. The workers were put under surveillance and the movement of the brethren suffered heavily. Only the most consecrated kept their loyalty, who could be strengthened secretly by the workers. However, such care could be extended only to smaller circles who could meet clandestinely - wider circles had to be left unattended. Under these circumstances many lapsed into their former life and habits. Only at some places, for instance Saaremaa,

1 The movement of the brethren certainly fostered a greater self-consciousness

among the people. As a consequence a deepened opposition against the enslaving

masters came to the fore. The pietistic pastors were against slavery desiring leniency

and more humane conditions; generally, they felt that these improvements should

come from the landlords and not through the demands of the awakening people.

An entry in the diary of Mickwitz is instructive. Before the intervention on thepart of the state he had wished that the innovations in the movement should be

discussed with the authorities but the brethren asked: 'What authority? Authorities are dead persons', ibid., p. 145f.2 This is illustrated by an entry in the diary of Mickwitz in 1744: 'Mich jammert

nur, dass der Teufel den besten Profit hat, denn nun wird sub nomine Herrnhut

alles Gute schlechthin verworfen', ibid., p. 151.

3 He did not demand only the acceptance of the pure Lutheran doctrine and the

symbolical books but also condemnation of all the excesses, particularly those of

the Herrnhut; further he demanded the acceptance of the church law and the prohibition of nonauthorized gatherings.




was it possible to keep wider circles of the faithful together by gathering secretly in private homes during the night and under the protection of forests and woods.

In such a situation, bereft of leadership, the continuation of the work was laid into the hands of indigenous workers who had to work as carefully as possible. It was necessary for them to abandon their former name and introduce the name 'society'. Most of their offices were liquidated (1).

Nonetheless, despite all hardships and dangers, activities were continued insofar as was possible. There were workers who decided to stay in the country; in fact, new helpers slipped in from time to time to comfort and strengthen the brethren in their time of trials and tribulations. During the period of suppression, emissaries entered the country to come to the aid of the vexed brethren. Several of them have left deeper traces in their wake.

J. Marrasch was sent to Estonia in 1748. He first served as a tutor in Läänemaa, then Hiiumaa, organizing the life of the communities. In 1766 we find him in Germany where he was ordained Herrnhut deacon and after his return he became the supervisor of the brethren in Saaremaa, living in the parish of Püha. In 1771 he established his residency in Valjala which remained the center for the brethren in Saaremaa for a century. It was in this context that J. Marrasch worked (2), sometimes finding assistance (3), at others enduring extreme poverty, hardships of travel and risks in gathering the faithful in a deep forest (4).

Christoph Michael Königseer (Königsöhr) was sent to Estonia in 1754 and served as a tutor in South Estonia. He took up his residence in Kanepi on the estate of Erastvere from which he directed the work of the Herrnhuters, strengthening the life of the communities. He was discovered in 1767 and brought before the court. Actions undertaken by the Estonians who gratefully stood behind him and which

1 Cf. PLITT, Die Brüdergemeine, p. 154; cf. Nachrichten aus der Brüdergemeine(1861), p. 441f.2 1721-92. Ct. Eesti biograafiline leksikon, p. 303.3 In 1747 he was called as a house teacher in Kullamaa, the estate of Maidla

where he started organizing the scattered brethren.

4 Jakob Marraschi elukäik (Tallinn 1894).##146

IX. SPIRITUAL AND CULTURAL REVOLUTIONthreatened to assume greater dimensions (1) saved him - the court rendered no verdict and he was able to stay on until 1770 (2).In 1754, J. P. Hesse (3) was sent into the land to bring more order into the scattered communities. In 1756, he reported to the leadership that in North Estonia, 8,000 brethren, 10,000 souls inclusive of children and single persons, were in contact with 100 Germans, among them 2 deans and 8 pastors, and in South Estonia and Latvia, 2.600 were in contact with 50 Germans, among them one dean and 3 pastors (4).

1 A rebellion against the squires and church authorities took place in Rannu.

Serious incidents took place in Rõuge where a force of 3,000 expelled a sexton

who was an adversary of Königseer. Tallima Paap and Saarlase Peeter threatened

to organize a major action among the people.

2 Next he lived in Germany and thereafter travelled to Greenland where he

devoted himself to creating literature in the Eskimo language.

3 1718-85.

4 Purr, Die Brüdergemeine p. 160f.






1. ITS CONTRIBUTION TO INTELLECTUAL LIFEThe ideas of Rationalism entered the Baltic lands through students who studied in German universities (1). The seed grew slowly at first but then sprouted briskly (2).

While the impact of the movement (3) of Rationalism (4) remained minimal in the congregations (5), there was another area where its impact was felt more perceptibly - namely the area of education.

Those pastors who had found by Rationalism and Enlightenment inspiration for education and who were interested in the education of the people, had plenty of opportunities. Under the pressures exercised by Governor-General Browne the Landtag of 1765 eventually adopted a resolution to expand the network of sexton schools and to establish the estate schools and valla-schools (6). The school patent of 1765 demanded action in this respect on the part of the church.

1 Cf. v. RAUCH, Die Universität Dorpat und das Eindringen der frühen Aufklärung

in Livland, p. 1ff.

2 For a general picture, see I. NEANDER, "Die Aufklärung in den Ostseeprovinzen', in: WITTRAM, Baltische Kirchengeschichte, p. 130ff. This study deals mostly with

the situation in Latvia.3 A typical leader of the rationalistically inspired church was Superintendent Karl

Gottlob Sonntag, 1803-1827, a rationalistic churchman and ecclesiastical politician.

4 See H. DALTON, Verfassungsgeschichte der evangelisch-lutherischen Kirche in

Russland I (Gotha 1887), p. 158ff.

5 In connection with protests against the revision of the church order in the

rationalistic spirit, cf. J. KIRSCHFELDT, Die religionsgeschichtliche Stellung des

Generalsuperintendenten Dr. K. G. Sonntag (Riga 1931) = AbhHGHI IV, 3, p. 19ff.

6 Vald is a district including a number of villages. Cf. WIEDEMANN, Eesti saksasõnaraamat, col. 1295; SAABESTE, Dictionnaire analogique de la langue estonienneIII, col. 155.


One cannot find evidence that the high ideas which appear in the discussions and writings about the role of education and schooling incited pastors to special action. The clergy in general, remained inert to the practical aspects of the Enlightenment in this respect. That the situation remained deplorable is shown by the fact that in the 18th century, besides an ABC book, no special books or other material had been published to foster and enliven elementary instruction. Only ecclesiastical handbooks were used for this purpose (1).Another observation confirms what has been said. In 1804 a school commission was created at the University of Tartu, to help the school district of the Baltic lands. Plans were worked out to establish a parochial school system and seminaries for the preparation of teachers. All these plans and projects were blocked by the united and coordinated resistance of the consistory and the knighthood.Only a very few pastors were ignited by the movement of the Enlightenment. Their endeavors appear as an oasis in an otherwise dark picture. In connection with the Enlightenment, one must mention the founding of the parochial school in Kanepi, in South Estonia. This was the work of Johann Philipp von Roth, pastor and dean of Kanepi (2), who stands at the forefront of the educationally minded pastors. His name is, in a particular way, related to the foundation of the parochial school in 1804. He also founded a school for girls. His interest and concern began to bring dividends. His work became known as a good example as was the spirit cultivated in this school. Singing in four voices was developed for which von Roth himself composed songs - this brought him additional popularity (3).Johann Heinrich Rosenplänter (4) deserves to be singled out as the founder of a teachers' school at Pärnu where students were trained to become teachers in the primary schools. He had good results (5). He cooperated closely with his former students in order to produce edu-1 About literature published by other authors during this period, see O. A.

WEBERMANN, 'Zur Problematik der estnischen Literatur des 18. Jahrhunderts',in: Estonia Christiana, p. 181ff.2 1780-1818.

3 O. SILD, 'Johann Philipp von Roth', in: Eesti Üliõpilaste Seltsi Album VIII(Tartu 1902), p. 139ff.4 See page 151f.5 One of his most gifted students was Abram Holter who became a teacher inthe school of Sauga; he is the author of the first study book on geography - it was

published in 1821.



cational materials for the schools in order to enliven the work there. The efforts of Otto Reinhold von Holtz (1), pastor of Keila and dean of Lääne-Harju, to train future teachers privately for the teachers' seminary should be registered. He took care of education at Keila. A long fight carried out by O. W. Masing (2) for the establishment of a seminary for teachers of parochial schools failed to accomplish its goals. The knighthood was deadly set against this.

Nor should we overlook what was done to implement these efforts. New educational materials were prepared by several authors (3). Most important are O. W. Masing, who prepared some of those materials (4) and J. H. Rosenplänter, who provided educational materials for higher schools (5).

The Enlightenment made its deepest impact in the realm of literary creation. It provided an impetus for the development of the worldly fiction. These authors wanted to widen the horizon of the people and felt that this could be done through instructive books. The endeavors of Friedrich Gustav Arvelius (6) were more successfully continued by Friedrich Wilhelm von Willmann (7), whose story books exerted great attraction, by Johann Wilhelm Ludwig von Luce (8) who came from Germany to enrich this work, and by Otto Reinhold von Holtz (9) who was of Swedish ancestry. His creation was linguistically and stylistically superior than those produced by the authors just mentioned.

The spirit of Enlightenment engendered something which in many respects is of singular significance. This comes to the fore in the appearance of a group of Estophils who devoted themselves to the cultivation of studies in the Estonian language and began to register

1 Cf. SUITS, Eesti kirjanduslugu I, p. 88ff.

2 See page 152ff.

3 Peter Heinrich von Frey, pastor of Püha; Karl Ernst Berg, pastor of Halliste.

4 Luggemise Lehti was designed also for the purpose of popularizing his

innovations in language and orthography.

5 Beitrage XI (1817).

6 1753-1806; he grew up in the pastorate of Viru-Nigula, studied theology and

philosophy but worked as a teacher.

7 F. W. von Willmann (1746-1819), pastor of Karja, Saaremaa.

8 1750-1842. He was pastor of Püha, Saaremaa; but since his rationalistic

views came into conflict with the orthodox stance in the church, he demitted

the ministry.

9 1757-1828.




all that the treasury of the indigenous culture offered. These enlightened heads mostly were not Baltic Germans, but came from Germany.

Owing to his many-sided interests and exceptional energy August Wilhelm Hupel (1). who came from Thürigen and who became pastor in Põltsamaa, occupies a special place among the learned authors. He has gone into the history of literary language because of his grammar (2) written for both dialects (3), which from the aspect of philology is noteworthy. He is still better known through his reference work on historical, geographical, ethnographic and economic sources (4). It is also noteworthy that the international forum of learning was acquainted with examples of Estonian folklore by way of his pen (5). In addition to his learned publications, he took time for literary work which was meant to help the peasants in their daily hardships. By his translation of the popular medical writings of another illumined benefactor. Dr. Peter Ernst Wilde (6), he earned the gratitude of the peasants (7). This pioneering work certainly demanded more than mere translation.

Another author who came from the outside (8) was Johann Wilhelm Ludwig von Luce, whose contribution to fiction has already found notice. He fostered the growth of the Estonian literature in various ways, trying to do something for the improvement of education among the peasants. He also published several medical books. His scholarly interest in the Estonian people and literature is reflected in his writings on the ethnography and folklore of the people of Saaremaa and in

1 1737-1819; he studied in Jena.

2 Ehstnische Sprachlehre für beide Hauptdialekle (Riga-Leipzig 1780), togetherwith a bulky glossary.3 The fact that it was prepared tor both dialects, that of Southern and NorthernEstonia, shows that two literatures were in being at that time.

4 Topographische Nachrichten von Lif- und Ehstland I-III (Riga 1774-82); still

more extensive is his Nordische Miscellaneen, I-XXVIII (1781-91); Neue nordische

Miscellaneen, I-XVIII (1792-98).

5 At the request of J. G. Herder, he sent 8 folkloristic songs furnished with a

German translation to Weimar and these were published in his Volkslieder II


6 1732-1785; he was a physician in Põltsamaa; he was very active and even

established his own press.

7 He translated the handbooks of Dr. P. E. Wilde into Estonian; Lühhike õppetus

(Short instruction) 1766-67; it was published in weekly fascicles. This publication

has been regarded the beginning of the Estonian newspaper. Arsti ramat (Physician's

book) was published in 1771.

8 He came from Braunschweig.




his history of Saaremaa. In 1815, he proposed the founding of a society in order more effectively to collect the materials relative to the Estonian language and to develop the literary language through the coordinated efforts of authors working in this area. Two years later he materialized his plans (1), though not in the way originally envisaged. His writings show how highly he estimated the potential of the Estonian idiom for development, for its beauty and its sound, its flexibility, its graphic qualities and wit in the colloquial patois of the people.

In the person of Johann Heinrich Rosenplänter (2), the Estophils present another eminent member who made Pärnu the center of their activities. His most important accomplishment was the establishment of a scholarly journal for the Estonian language and literature (3), as such the first for the investigation of linguistic materials, vocabulary, grammar, syntax and style. As he himself says, the journal was designed to acquaint Germans with the witty and 'powerful' language of the people, with the linguistic treasures embedded in this idiom as well as its cultural values. He thought that the recognition of these values would bring Germans to a respect for the indigenous people (4). The journal also claimed for itself the task of purifying the faulty, corrupted and distorted ecclesiastical language, and of restoring its pristine luster. It became a forum which gathered around it those who were interested in this vital concern; it also became an organ for Criticism. In addition, a number of Estonian writers found opportunities for participation in this enterprise (5). They issued critiques of the works of German authors who did not know the language of the people. What is still more important, they brought to the fore the attitude of the people towards poor books, revealing better taste and

1 He even founded the Ehstnische literarische Gesellschaft in 1817 at Kuressare,

the first of its kind. Unfortunately it did not receive participant interest from the

authors on the continent, and its range remained limited; as a result the society

did not survive the death of its idealistic founder.

2 1782-1846; he came from Valmiera, Latvia, and brought with him knowledge

of the Latvian language and the Lettophil interest; he studied at the University of

Tartu; he became pastor of Tori and then of the church of Eliisabeti in Pärnu.

3 Beiträge zur genauern. Kenntniss der ehstnischen Sprache in 20 volumes (1813-


4 Beiträge XVII.

5 So critiques by Abram Holter, Andres Jervitson; other contributions in the

form of letters written by Kulli Jüri, Kõrenda Kaarel, Mäletu Jaan and Kübara

Jaan were also published.




higher demands than those authors who had remained blissfully unaware of such standards. It was with great personal sacrifices that Rosenplänter kept his journal alive, though in time his resources ran out on him (1). In 1824, he began a bibliographical project as a preparatory work for the history of Estonian literature (2) which grew into an extensive manuscript (3). He also was active in the promoting of the Estonian language and proposed that the Estonian language be taught in the gymnasia.

The most important and most prolific among all these authors is Otto Wilhelm Masing, a son of an Estonian sexton (4) who had worked himself up from conditions of want and poverty. His unusual talents (5) and diligence helped him to achieve an academic education. In fact, in the first period of his literary life his aim was to appeal to the German audience. However, this was a miscalculation - from Germans he received no understanding of his literary work, not to mention encouragement. In 1816 he published the cycle of Estonian texts under a German title (6), an essay directed against petrified tenets, proving that the Estonian idiom was suitable even for the most demanding salon of philosophical and witty diatribe and sparkling discussion. The ruling class received this publication very coldly comprehending not at all what his endeavors clearly demonstrated. Another disappointment which brought bitterness was to come (7). His attempts to muster the squires and pastors behind his plan to found a scholarly journal

1 The journal which had only a few subscribers was published at his own expenseuntil financial burdens - he had a large family - compelled the dedicated editor toterminate his publication.2 Bibliotheca esthonica.3 He could publish only a systematic register: 'Übersicht der esthnischen Literatur

nach dem Inhalt der Schriften und chronologisch geordnet', in: Beiträge XX (1832).

4 He was born in 1763 in Lohusuu; he was educated in Narva, and his academic

education was received at the Halle University. First he was a tutor and pastor in

Lüganuse, Viru-Nigula and Äksi; in 1821 he was elected dean of Tartumaa; he died

in 1832.

5 Owing to his excellent knowledge in classical languages, having earned his

reputation as a tutor, the famous classical philologist Fr. A. Wolf entrusted the

proofreading of his edition of Homer into his hands. He was often asked to do

this kind of work.

6 Ehstnische Originatblätter für Deutsche I.7 The post of lector at the university of Tartu which had become vacant in 1817

was filled by another man. This episode certainly hurt him very deeply since he

was known as the best expert on the Estonian idiom.




for the Estonian language and literature (1) collapsed, due to the lack of understanding and interest in these circles. These experiences constituted that watershed in the stream of his literary creation. Thereafter, he directed himself to the indigenous people from whom he received appreciation, inspiration and gratitude. To them, then, he devoted his literary creation. Despite very heavy blows which struck his family, his creative power became a kind of substitute for the many losses in his personal life.

His stories and didactic narratives (2) brought him fame. Because of the popular and idiomatic language and his skill in making the subject interesting, his writings exercised great attraction. As a son of an Estonian, he was able to manage the language in a way unparalleled before him in the literary domain. His influence in this respect cannot be underplayed. By improving the syntax, emiching the vocabulary and shaping the Estonian literary language, he laid the foundation for the older fiction literature.

Manifold are his publications. His scholarly studies concern lexical, grammatical, linguistic and orthographical questions. His popular writings include also the gender of schoolbooks which he used in order to popularize his innovations in orthography. He has secured his name even in the history of the Estonian newspaper (3) through the weekly he founded and promoted (4). In the last years of his life he was engaged in the preparation of the Estonian lexicon (5).


The spirit of Enlightenment also aroused interest in the social and economic situation of the peasants. As in other countries, this happened also in Estonia. Yet the man who lifted up the first voice in the interest of humanity and lifted it up boldly did not come from the Baltic

1 Kritisches Journal der ehstnischen Sprache und Literatur.2 Pühhapäeva - Wahheluggemissed (Tartu 1818).3 He also was the editor of the Tallorahwa Kulutaja (Peasants' proclaimer) 1824-1826, established by G. A. Oldekop in 1824.4 Ma rahva Näddala-Leht (The weekly of the country people) 1821-23, 1825.

The first newspaper was Tartu-ma rahva Näddali Lehhe, started in 1806 by G. A.

Oldekop and J. Ph. Roth; 41 numbers were issued before it was banned. Cf. CEDERBERG, Die Erstlinge der estlandischen Zeitungsliteratur, p. 5ff.5 His major work, an Estonian dictionary, was lost after his death.




German pastors, but from abroad (1). He was Johann Georg Eisen (2), a typical pastor of the era, who was inspired by manifold interests. But he did not only propagate inoculation against smallpox of cows, new methods of drying vegetables, nor did he only give to his parish an example in farming and gardening, but he also gave himself to deeper things. His name is inscribed in the history of the humane - by his critique of the feudal conditions of the peasants. To him belongs the merit of having assailed the inhuman conditions in Estonia most vigorously (3). This work (4) was a bombshell. He declared forcefully that freedom alone builds towns and schools. He demanded the abolishment of slavery and the equipping of peasants with land for which they should pay rent to the gentry (5). This enlightened spirit revealed a deep belief in the moral strength of the oppressed nation about which only distortions had been spread. He also expressed his conviction about the role this nation was bound to play the moment it gains a chance to reveal its true character. However, his attempts to achieve practical results for his ideas failed (6).

Another author who developed the same ideas is Johann von Jannau (7). Among his historical and cultural historical works, the main document is a critique of the social system and the privileges of the gentry (8). He recognized that the much disparaged and widely publicized qual-

1 He was born in Bavaria, the son of a pastor. After graduation from the university of Jena he went to Estonia.

2 1717-1779; he also called himself J. G. Eisen von Schwartzenberg. First hewas a teacher, then pastor of Tormau-Lohusuu, 1745-75. Towards the end of

his life he worked in Jelgava and near Moscow.

3 Eines Liefländischen Patrioten Beschreibung der Leibeigenschaft, wie solche in

Liefland über die Bauern eingeführt ist.4 Published in: Sammlung russischer Geschichte, hrsg. von G. Fr. MÜLLER, IX,1 (St. Petersburg 1764), p. 491ff.5 M. STEPERMANIS, 'J. G. Eisen et les luttes pour 1'abolition du servage en Livo-

nie et en Courlande', in: Conventus primus historicorum Balticorum (Rigae 1938).

p. 501ff.

6 When in 1762, the son of the duke of Gottorp-Holstein was brought to the throne

as Peter III he drew attention to himself by his projects for freeing the peasants.

These plans and endeavors collapsed with the palace revolution which removed the


7 1753-1821; he was assistant pastor in Põlva and from 1779 pastor of Laiuse;later he became dean and assessor of the consistory.

8 Geschichte der Sklaverey, und Charakter der Bauern in Lief- und Ehstland (Riga1786).




ities of the peasants were not innate but had only developed through the intolerable conditions and extraordinary cruelties of their life under their oppressors. But he did not recommend the abolition of all these relations to serfdom - rather, he wanted to reform them.

In connection with the last mentioned pastor, it must be added that non-theologians revealed a far deeper clarity of vision and exemplified far greater courage. A very vigorous voice was raised by Garlieb Helwig Merkel (1) who in his writings gives a defense of the Latvian peasants, but in his main work (2) speaks of the Estonians as well. He develops a bold defense of the indigenous nations against German occupants in unheard of fashion (3). He idealizes the antiquity of the Estonians and Latvians thereby making a deep impact on the origin of patriotically inspired literature. Although persecuted the voice of this ardent disciple of Russeau and Voltaire could not be suppressed.

The counterpart to Merkel's work on the Latvians did not come from the Baltic Germans but from an author from Thüringen. He was Johann Christoph Petri (4). His most important work in three volumes (5) is devoted to the Estonians. Its critique of the conditions, the barbaric political and social system, the unbearable conditions of the peasants completely at the mercy of the despotism of the squires testifies to his sharp gifts of observation. He calls the squires as well as the Baltic German citizenry parasites exploiting helpless victims. His aim was to do something in the interest of the slaves, appealing to the worth of men, to that which is humane and to natural rights. The author goes farther than Merkel's polemical work by giving to his

1 1769-1850; born the son of a pastor in Livonia; from his childhood, he had

learned to hate the ruthlessness and violence with which the squires exploited the


2 Die Letten vorzüglich in Liefland vom Ende des philosophischen Jahrhunderts

(Leipzig 1796); although the title does not indicate it, the author also deals with the


3 He boldly wrote that the German occupants were no bringers of culture; indeed,

they were 'a consecrated herd of murderers', rude warriors and powerhungry

priests who brought indigenous nations of a high cultural level down to the level

of animals.

4 Between 1784-96, he worked as a tutor in several places in Estonia where he

became acquainted with the people, their life and conditions of life. Upon his

return he became a teacher in Erfurt and then professor at the university. There

he developed a wider activity in the literary field.

5 Ehstland und die Ehsten I-III (Gotha 1802).




work a character which makes it a matter-of-fact description and presentation of the Estonians, their culture and life.

Returning after this excursion to the realm of literature to the actual conditions of life, it must be said that what those few illumined and noble minds declared had no effect whatsoever upon life itself in the Baltic lands where for centuries strict care had been taken to produce an immunity to the effectiveness of any illuminating idea from Western Europe.

This shows how all these illumined ideas remained academic - the serfs in no way felt that their condition had improved or became different because of some heavy volumes written by a few illumined philanthropists. These humanistic ideas, we could expect, would have alleviated the unnatural contrast between the highly privileged ruling class and the primitiveness of the suppressed human beings who any time could be put on sale - at least in the realm of literature, in stories, in narratives and in fiction. But even this was too much to expect. The very few who were serious about the question of integrity, the voice of conscience, and who cried out against the unbearable conditions, soon discovered who the absolute lords were over the country. The power of the gentry compelled them to be careful - if they did not have courage to fall under their wrath and penalty. The fate of J. G. Eisen who had to end his days in the obscurity of exile was a living warning.

Thus the illuminating ideas of the Enlightenment met the same fate in the Baltic lands as did the heartwarming message of the Reformation (1) - measures were undertaken to paralyze their impact. As a consequence, they were not allowed to foster and create a humane spirit and a humane attitude towards fellowmen. However, though these, humane ideas were prevented from their spreading, nevertheless, they did have their significance. These ideas from the outside were picked up by sextons and teachers through whom they made their way gradually into the life of the indigenous people enriching their soul and contributing to their education.

In practice, the questions raised by illumined minds increased the firmness and determination of the ruling class to tighten their vigilance and to undertake additional precautionary measures.

1 See vol. II, p. 55ff.




After these blows, the movement of the brethren was considered officially liquidated for 20 years. A change in the situation took place under the rule of Catherine II. Her interest in German craftsmen who were needed in her country provided unexpected help for the vexed brethren, since these prospective immigrants were members of the Herrnhut church. This change in policy took place in 1764. What she actually did was to grant full rights to the immigrant brethren. But this decree was interpreted to mean a restoration of their rights and the legalization for the suppressed and forbidden movement of the brethren.

Thus the church of the brethren once more gained the freedom to develop its activities. At that time, long after Zinzendorf's death, the leadership of the movement was in the hands of A. G. Spangenberg who was making efforts to direct the movement into more moderate waters. New life began to emerge. In some places it flourished rapidly, particularly in Saaremaa. In 1766, J. Marrasch became the deacon of this area. He was a man who could kindle life and initiate a wider movement in Saaremaa and Läänemaa, and inspire new religious life which was to be very durable (1). However, their work demanded caution. In fact, the expansion of the work was connected with grave danger. In 1767, the governor-general, by a memorandum to the upper consistory, made it clear that the new freedom meant that the brethren could continue their work among themselves, but that it gave no right for the development of mission work among the people, thus giving a special protection to the church - a protection that was much needed. Thus the work demanded circumspection since the church kept a vigilant eye on the movement (2). It is not surprising that the work was beset by difficulties and vexations (3).

Under these circumstances, the work of the brethren was seriously hampered; not until near the end of the century did their missionary

1 Jakob Marraschi elukäik (Tallinn 1894). His wife Marie Elisabeth Marrasch;about her biography, see Nachrichten aus der Brüdergemeine (1820), p. 534ff.2 Among the visitation questions was one about the activities of the Herrnhuters.3 Accusations were prepared by the superintendent of Saaremaa, L. Swahn against

Marrasch to the effect that he had started a wide-scale movement and that people

had built the prayer-houses.




work begin to regain its previous state. New communities were constantly organized. More and more Herrnhut emissaries began to come into the country. But by the turn of the century the movement had not yet extended itself throughout the country. The expansion of the work and its development needed the revocation of the restrictions as well as the restoration of their rights.

In the history of the movement of the brethren with its ups and downs, a new wave began at the beginning of the 19th century. This hangs together with a change in climate in the highest place. Czar Alexander I, who himself was influenced by pietistic ideology, tied up any loose threads left hanging by Catherine II. By the decree issued on October 27, 1817, all the rights of the brethren were restored. Another decree, issued on October 10, 1826, finally guaranteed the restoration of all their rights.

Now a new stimulus swept through the movement of the brethren. Their work was completely reorganized (1) in order to develop it more fruitfully. Religious fervor again appeared to animate its missionary enterprise. Even some ecstatic phenomena emerged (2), finding a considerable number of followers (3). However, the adversaries of the brethren were quick to attack and to inflict suffering (4) upon those who combined piety with demands for moral renewal.

The growth of the movement can also be measured in numbers. According to a report written in 1818, the total number of the members was estimated to be 31,000 (with a few congregations in Latvia) in up to 144 congregations (5). After the rights of the brethren were restored and they were legalized, their membership grew to 70,000 in 250 societies (6).

1 The societies were divided into 12 diaconates, 8 in Estonia and 4 in Latvia.2 R. PÕLDMAE, 'Taevaskaijad', in: Kaleviste mailt (Tartu 1935), p. 123ff.

3 The movement originated between 1815-24 in North Estonia and spread


4 O. SILD, 'Üksikasju taevaskäijate liikumisest moningate sälinud kohtuaktide

valgustusel', in: Usuteadustine Ajakiri VII (1935), p. 109ff.

5 A report of the year 1818, by Presbyter Ewald in Livonia, 'Schon über 80

Jahre steht das Wort des Herrn unter den Letten und Esten unter Beratung

und Leitung der Brüder und die 144 Gemeinschaften, über 31,000 Personen

umfassend, erstrecken sich von einem Ende Livlands bis zum andercn ... 24

deutsche Geschwister sind dabei von Seiten der Brüdergemeine geschäftig

und 1,000 Nationalarbeiter', A. DÖBNER, 'Die Volksschule Livlands', in:

Mitteilungen und Nachrichten XVI (1860), p. 109f.

6 HARNACK, Die lutherische Kirche Livlands, p. 188,




The long awaited freedom was unhappily to be of short duration. Unfortunately, the decree of Alexander I did not regulate the relation between the communities of the brethren and the church, thereby leaving the way open for new manuevers on the part of the church.

The acquittal of the persecuted and suppressed Christian communities was something that the Lutheran church would not digest. The kind of competition it had to face again after the period of complacency simply was not to be endured. In the light of ecclesiastical conditions in the Baltic lands, it is clear that the release offered little more than a short respite. Since the official church was not able to compete in the realm of spiritual life using means worthy of Christian institutions, it took recourse to force, power and violence. As an arm of the regime which it had faithfully served and for which it had lived it had a right to expect help from the regime in its troubles. This it got, and thanks to this force it accomplished its most vital task - to get rid of the community emanating religious and spiritual life. Church policy towards that end was designed. It did not take long for its presence to be felt.

At the time the popularity of the brethren reached its peak, the consistory-general was engaged in endeavors of finding ways of curbing the activities of the brethren and eventually of destroying the entire movement. At first, the situation did not become acute, since the church in its struggle with Rationalism did not want to irritate the brethren - their help was needed to combat the common enemy.

But this state of affairs did not last any longer than about 1832. As the hands of the church became free, it sought ways of frustrating the brethren. Conflicts became unavoidable (1) and they indicated the new machinations on the horizon.

The new church law which had been in preparation for some time was promulgated for Estonia in 1832. It includes already the strategy of the church in regard to the suppression of the brethren. The law sanctioned the right of the Lutheran church to supervise the activities of the brethren. Stipulations were included that plainly invaded the rights of the brethren: the brethren had no right to speak freely or to preach in their prayer-houses. The law prohibited sermons entirely as well as presentations made by lay people. Preaching was made a privilege of Lutheran pastors only. Moreover, through the

1 About these conflicts, see v. SCHRENCK, Baltische Kirchengeschichte, p. 58ff.



new law, Lutherans secured for themselves the right to interfere in the work of the brethren, to inspect their prayer-houses and to control their prayer meetings. The law also imposed restrictions on what the brethren could do. Their gatherings were not to include more than the reading of the Bible, prayer and singing.

The church in South Estonia and Latvia immediately initiated actions for which preparations had previously been made and carried out the provisions of the new law to the full extent (1). The calculations which had inspired the originators of the new law did not prove to be wrong. Gatherings put under the control of the pastors did not attract people any longer. The attack was indeed very skillfully prepared. As expected the movement of the brethren began to shrink.

The situation in North Estonia was somewhat different. Because of the strength of the brethren the new law could not be enforced so strictly. There were some struggles and these in fact involved some excesses. In general, however, the attacks were not directed against the existence of the societies of the brethren. It also was found that the church benefited from these situations by not antagonizing the people against itself. Thus the communities of the brethren were able to continue their life and work in North Estonia.

The consistory-general pressed on with its efforts to obtain from the Russian government more explicit statements regarding the new law. And such statements were procured. A decree of April 14, 1834, put the Herrnhut communities under the control of the pastors. This opened up all sorts of possibilities for pastors to interfere with the work of the brethren and to use the force of the government agencies to pull the administration over the prayer-houses into their hands. These decisions released a chain of severe conflicts (2).

Another decision concerned the role of the deacons of the brethren. Deacons who served the communities in a number of prayer-houses (3) were forbidden to carry out their ministry and were allowed to preach only in one prayer-house, namely in that one which was in their home parish. The other prayer-houses were drawn under the control of

1 Cf. M. NERLING, 'Die Herrnhuterfrage in Livland', in: WITTRAM, BaltischeKirchengeschichte p. 168f.2 See HARNACK, Die lutherische Kirche Livlands, p. 293ff.

3 The brethren had appointed unordained deacons each of whom had to serve the

communities in about 10-15 prayer-houses.



pastors who were then made responsible for the services. In 1841, the deacons submitted a common protest against this ruling and were able to bring about some changes in the law.

In this excited situation, temporary relief came in the form of a new danger, russification (1) under the cover of ecclesiastical policy which was staged in 1845 and which led to mass conversions. The Lutheran church soon found that where the brethren were allowed to work freely there were fewer changes in the faith. Now that they were facing a real danger, many pastors hastened to renew cooperation with the brethren by giving them full freedom to preach at their prayer meetings and asking them to admonish people not to desert their evangelical faith.

Again, as soon as the danger of russification under the cover of ecclesiastical policy was over, the reasons for leniency disappeared and the church reversed itself. The brethren had done their work all too well, and the ever restless ecclesiastical policy subservient to Baltic German politics began to shape itself to liquidate the communities of the brethren. In these activities, the church became more and more aggressive. The synods began to discuss the strategy of destroying that life which by its very existence had so deeply discredited the official church as a political institution (2). The synod in 1851 had on its agenda a very bitter presentation against the communities of the brethren, which branded the movement as a 'heresy (3)'.

This was the signal for even more intensified actions. In the following year, the movement was openly accused of having subverted the best Christians, robbed the glory from the sola fide and put the church into a situation where it refused to stand - alongside a rival. A strategy was worked out, namely of copying the means used by the brethren and to employ them to serve their own ends. The strategy was adopted by the synod in 1853.

In this struggle, the leading role belonged to the department of theology. Subservient to the political powers in being, it was bound to fight against everything that in the time of great draught manifested life and genuine spiritual power.

1 See page 241ff.2 See page 103ff.3 v. SCHRENCK, Baltische Kirchengeschichfe, p. 70f.




The pressure on the brethren was constantly intensified. Brutal force was employed. Under these circumstances, the brethren saw no way out but that of making of concessions. The Herrnhut synod in 1857 was held under the dark shadow of forthcoming trials. The decisions which were reached reflect the seriousness of the situation. Drastic changes were made in the life and practice of the Herrnhut communities. The following traditional practices and customs were abandoned: the casting of lots; the division of members into choirs; the solemn reception ritual for new members. The choirs were replaced with a 'circle of believers'. Of the officers of the brethren, only the 'workers' and 'helpers' were left. Finally, 'access to former closed meetings was open to all'.

However, all these concessions did not satisfy the church under the leadership of Bishop C. C. Ulmann and Superintendent A. C. F. M. Walter (1), who were after the liquidation of the communities of the brethren, understanding this to be the highest goal of their offices. Bishop Ulmann demanded that there be no reception into membership at all. With heavy heart the Herrnhut leadership conceded. However, this was against the explicit win of the indigenous workers who did not want to capitulate (2).

The church as such came out in full aggression against its rival with which it otherwise had been unable to compete in the domain of religious life. But it had an important advantage - it had at its disposal power and sheer force which it had become well accustomed to employ. In the pragmatic use of these, it had no scruples. This was its tradition for centuries. Nor did it weigh the means. Even the ruse was welcome. In the struggle, promises were given offering a greater role to the members of the congregations after the struggle was won. When, however, the battle was over, all the promises were forgotten.

Finally, ecclesiastical policy designed to secure the Lutheran church as an institution in the service of the ruling class was accomplished. The price, however, was very heavy. The church once again had shown its true face. It had to blame itself when coolness and indifference among the people towards the servants of the church, its proclamation and even the Christian faith began to spread and affect the communities in South Estonia. Something had broken in the soul of the people, inflicting deep wounds - too deep to heal completely.

1 V. KÖRESSAAR, 'Series episcoporum Estoniae', in: Estonia Christiana, p. 251.2 SILD, Eesti kirikulugu, p. 206.




The events which took place in the 19th cent. are so important so significant, that they determined the future development. The Estonians in one of the darkest periods of their history despite the hopeless situation decided to take matters into their hands. They did this with such determination and vigor that a complete transformation of the country was effected. The country was saved from the brink of the economic chaos, poverty and misery to which it had been taken by the total ineptness of degenerate gentry, and was stabilized through the introduction of civilization and culture.

In the battles which took place, the gulf betwesn the indigenous people on the one hand and the Baltic German rulers on the other hand became manifest. The indigenous people pursued what was necessary for the land in the West European tradition, revealing in that pursuit the responsibility and heroism of a cultured nation This was in complete contrast with the perpetuation of the worst form of feudalism imposed by the tyrants and terrorists who had the audacity to call themselves 'nobility'.



New machinations were set in motion by the Baltic German rulers to the detriment of the people and the land. This is indicated by the way the rulers tampered with the text of the agrarian law issued in 1804 by the czar, a law which guaranteed the right of possession of the




land to the peasants (1). However, the German text - which became the foundation for later agrarian legislation - falsified the original meaning of the text, speaking instead of possession in terms of the use of the land (2), thus changing the meaning of the law completely (3).

What was in the making soon came to the fore. The so-called liberation of the peasant (4), which was loudly heralded, was a cleverly designed scheme, a shrewdly calculated maneuver on the part of the gentry to give the impression that it was following the requirements of the time by terminating the feudal system. However, behind the camouflage of propaganda, the real plan was the perpetuation of the very same centuries-old life interest of the usurpers: the usurpation of all the land which made the peasants eternal squatters, thus deriving for themselves an immense profit which was great enough to be enjoyed by several generations still unborn. The squires jubilantly indulged themselves in mutual congratulation over their genius in inventing new means and schemes to flail another layer of skin from the victims in their grip. This policy of the gentry turned the social and economic conditions backwards. The serfs were 'liberated' but their lands and farmsteads with all their equipment were appropriated (5) by the squires - and that marked the opening of another tragic period in the life of the Estonian people. The peasant having lost his lands now faced his old extortioner in a new and frightening way (6). Since all restrictive measures had been removed (7), the way was open for most brutal exploitation. Technically speaking, the relations between the landlord and the tenant were regulated by a 'free' contract. In practice, however, the basic principle

1 The original text in Russian reads: ' On the piece of land which has been given

to the peasant by the landowner . . . this piece of land has to remain in permanent

possession of the peasant and his heirs'.2 At the end of the first part of the clause quoted above the words 'für dessen

Nutzniessung' were inserted.

3 Cf. A. SVÄBE, Grundriss der Agrargeschichte Lettlands (Riga 1928), p. 310f.

4 In 1816 in North Estonia and in 1819 In South Estonia. Cf. A. VON TOBIEN,

Die Agrargesetzgebung Livlands im 19. Jahrhundert I (Berlin 1899), p. 280ff.

5 The peasants lost hereditary rights to the use of the land which they had had up

to that time.

6 Their future was to be regulated by ' free contracts' with the absolutistic masters

of the land; renting of land meant limitless burdens - for practical purposes, it meant

serfdom; cf. M. MARTNA, L'Esthonie (Paris 1920), p. 80ff.

7 All the laws protecting the peasants and the regulations in respect to norms,

burdens and work on the land, were abolished.



was simple: the tenants were forced to pay whatever rent the squire demanded. Since field work at that time was the only source of income, the people were completely in the hands of the squires. The rent consisted of all the compulsory work that could possibly be extracted from these thoroughly exhausted human wrecks. The records in the vaku-books show just what kinds of unimaginable demands were made - demands which only Baltic German avidity could devise and squeeze out of the peasants by violence and torture. Detrimental to the peasants was the change in rulership in St. Petersburg (1).

The situation of the peasants became even more grave because of the fact that the estates, due to the decline in the prices of farm-products, began to increase the use of forced labor. All this meant almost limitless burdens. As a result the land of the peasants, poor in quality and poorly tended, was so neglected that it could no longer yield a sufficient income. In addition, the almost annual crop-failures (2) created a permanent famine for the peasantry. The 'liberated' peasant thus practically became an outlaw and even more dependent on the squire than ever before - he was entirely at the whim of his exploiter. Such a ' liberation' meant slavery in a new form. This, indeed, created a horrendous situation. Many peasants abandoned the farmsteads where they had lived and worked (3).

The situation was aggravated by other curtailments (4) which cut deep into the life of the people (5). As a result of these additional laws, a new administration of the communities was established, one which was placed completely under the tutelage and surveillance of the squires. Still other factors contributed to the steadily worsening situation, particularly the loss of better farms (6).

1 Nicholas I (1825-1855), a reactionary tyrant, saw in the Baltic German squires

one of his most important bases for his police regime.2 Particularly difficult were the years in the forties; 1844 and 1845 were complete


3 Those who realized that they could not improve their condition of life by better

farming tackled the virgin soil in the forests.

4 The right of free movement particularly was infringed upon as a consequence of

these severe curtailments.

5 The right of punishment, the manhandling of the body and scourging was

usurped once more by the gentry; indeed, their privileges were extended to permit

even greater suppression and extortion.6 The better farms were joined with the estates. Villages were destroyed and the

peasants were thrown out.




As the exploitation went on, the frightening consequences became apparent. It ruined human beings, making them indescribably bitter wrecks in the service of the insatiable landlords. It also developed into a robber economy insofar as the rented farms were concerned. Since an orderly tilling of the farmland meant that the squires seized the opportunity to raise the rent every time the contract was renewed, no one was interested in careful work. The squires first wanted short term contracts so as to enable frequent raises in rent. Now the tenants in their move of counteraction began to manipulate the situation to their advantage. They met their extortioners with the same tactics. They squeezed out what was possible and left the place in order to rent another farmstead. It is a miracle that even under these difficult conditions superhuman efforts were made through cruel thrift (1) to achieve some degree of independence. The tactics adopted by the tenants worked. In the long run the system of the robber economy created by the squires and the knighthood proved to be ruinous to the economy of the estates.

Even among the squires certain elements (2) began to realize that their policy was leading to a catastrophe and demanded reorganization of the economic policy of the estates (3), provided that the privileges of the squires remain intact. Of course, also these circles kept tenaciously their conviction regarding the inevitability that the people in the future must remain on the level of peasant community. Thus the reaction on the part of the peasants coordinated with other phases in the battle (4) brought positive results. The rise of rent was stopped and then gradually began to decline.

The conditions created in the land were so apalling and so awesome that E. Lönnrot, who came from Finland and travelled by foot through Estonia in 1844, stated that even for a salary of 2,000 roubles he would not like to live in that land, not even for a single day.

1 In the most difficult time during the period of corvée the savings of the peasantsin North Estonia in the banks were estimated at 157,000 roubles. One can estimate

that the savings kept in homes exceeded this sum several times.

2 The leader of this group of more liberal squires was H. von Folkersahm.

3 These circles gathered around the journal Das Inland, published in Tartu (1836-

63), which began to discuss social problems of the peasants.

4 See page 193ff.





The Baltic German oppressors rejoiced too soon over their scheme so shrewdly designed to perpetuate their most cruel practices and guarantee the endless exploitation of their victims. Out of the most hideous realities - exploitation to the point of exhaustion, hunger, terror, beating and torture - the spirit of resistance began to raise its head ever more boldly, using every avenue available. And this time the strength of all began to coalesce, drawing new strength from hidden sources in the soul of the cruelly tested nation.

Attempts to escape and to find relief took on dimensions not seen before. These efforts led the peasants to acts of disobedience. Open rebellion began as early as the beginning of the century (1). These undertakings demonstrated the unanimity of the masses and their readiness to undertake actions. Such actions were regarded by the landlords as a barometer. This time there were indications that the weather was steadily worsening and that the storm was not far away. The outbursts (2) became ominous. These revolts were suppressed by the squires with the help of Russian troops, who were known for their extreme savagery.

As a result, the squires arranged festivals of blood (3) in order to stamp out the spirit which caused them fear, but these efforts were in vain. Even the most cruel measures were unable to break the spirit of the nation, its irresistible yearning for freedom, its utilization of every opportunity to get rid of the Baltic German shackles - regardless of the length of time required to achieve this objective.

This movement found expression in a variety of ways. Among the actions undertaken in the total context, the movement which was directed against the oppressors who operated under the mask of the church occupies a special place. The squires feared that all the people would turn to the orthodox faith. This movement took on such dimensions that it actually delivered a very serious blow against the whole feudal system. It managed to achieve the transmission of the very first matter-of-fact reports concerning the social conditions of the in-

1 About 1805 the obedience of the peasants could be exacted only by

brutal military force.

2 The most extensive of these insurrections and battles was the battle

of Mahtra in 1858.

3 See page 196f.




digenous people to the government authorities in St. Petersburg. This was an event of such importance in this battle that it deserves a separate treatment (1). In all the actions of uprising, a spontaneous mass-movement was aroused producing an ever swelling wave.

This battle found a new manifestation which sounded as an alarming challenge. The forties became epochmaking in the history of this struggle. This is due to the fact that in this battle for life in public life academically educated Estonians took the side of their countrymen, remaining loyal to their people after they themselves had risen to respectable positions. These circles were headed by F. R. Fählmann, F. R. Kreutzwald, D. H. Jürgenson, and J. J. Nocks (2) who had the courage to take the side of the 'idiots and barbarians' branded so by the Baltic German slander (3). Particularly Fählmann. It is evidence of his nobility that he gave a heroic example of courage in publicly taking the side of the suffering people-even in a very dangerous situation (4). He immediately became the target of outrage (5). In this struggle Fählmann was interrogated and threatened several times by the authorities. His attitude cost him a professorship. Moreover, it is a consequence that this enfant terrible in the eyes of the Baltic German rulers had to be broken down physically under the weight of this vicious battle with the cruel enemy.

In the course of the resistance movement, leaders emerged who were able to direct the efforts and to develop a conscious and coordinated social and political struggle.

There was an obvious need for orientation and information about the struggle in the various sectors and for contact and coordination between the various forces concerning the goals to be achieved; it was met by newspapers founded for this purpose. Among these newspapers, particularly the Perno Postimees (6) rapidly developed into an effective organ,

1 See page 194ff.

2 Director of the district school in Rakvere.

3 Kreutzwald came publicly to the aid of the oppressed, becoming thereby

a target for the wrath of the Baltic Germans. He used opportunities to describe

the miserable conditions of the peasants in his articles, published in Merkel's

Provinzialblatt (1836) and in Inland (1837).

4 After the insurrection in Pühajarve, in his conflict with G. von Nolcken, the

representative of the knighthood, he justified the actions of the peasants as

actions of despair in order to 'escape from hell'.

5 The squires branded him the most ardent instigator of the peasants.

6 Founded in 1857 in Pärnu.




thanks to the eminent skills of its founder and editor J. V. Jannsen.

A little later the Eesti Postimees (1) became a leading factor in this period of the struggle. It was designed for the peasants - to strengthen their endeavors, especially by inspiring activity in communal affairs. Its endeavors were aimed at the growth of national pride as a source of strength for the accomplishment of the enormous tasks before them.

During this phase of the struggle Jannsen had to be very circumspect (2). Any conflict with the jealous powers - i.e. the squires, the church and the Russian state - would have ruined his newspaper. Far more radical goals and ways could be pursued only by those who were outside the immediate reach of the squires and their vengeance. This was the case with the Estonians living under conditions of greater freedom in St. Petersburg. The leader of this active group (3) operating in this city was Johann Köler, a painter whose home was in Viljandimaa but who because of his talents and reputation (4), had established contact with the court of the czar. This group skilfully utilized the climate created by the liberal reforms of Alexander II. They produced an open critique of the feudal conditions in their homeland and continuously stressed the need for reforms, appealing in particular to liberal circles in the Russian government. This action was expanded by Jakob Johnson-Hantwig, who was a member of the active group of patriots in St. Petersburg and was editor of an economic publication. He threw light into conditions which feared light: the evils of the corvée, the need for a rationally developed agriculture, the issue of land for the peasants, and the need for agricultural schools. Their persistent activity, which unmasked the Baltic German rulers, evoked the bitter wrath of the squires - but fortunately these Estonians were beyond the reach of those who were always ready to annihilate opposition.

These actions which carried the struggle to the highest circles of the government in St. Petersburg had the additional effect of emboldening the spirit for action in the homeland itself. The centers which became most important for such activity were Tarvastu, Paistu and Holstre in Viljandimaa, where the most outstanding men initiated a

1 Founded when Jannsen moved to Tartu in 1864.

2 Jannsen's circumspection was disappointing for many. Plans for a new

newspaper were deliberated by J. Köler.

3 The circle of patriotic Estonians in St. Petersburg, headed by Köler,

included among others also F. N. Russow, a lawyer.

4 See page 188, 190, 220.




series of actions demanding greater rights in school, church and administration. It happened that the people of Holstre were blessed with the guidance of a number of leading spirits and activists who were equipped with skills and extraordinary courage. These leaders were men like the brothers Adam and Peeter Peterson, Jaan Adamson who was a teacher, and Hain Henno who was a farmer. As a result of their lively activity, several memoranda were prepared and sent to the czar (1). Thanks to the connections with Köler in St. Petersburg, the actions undertaken by the men in Holstre received wide publicity.

These actions are of particular importance because they became the basis for a radical program. Among its demands were the following: liquidation of the corvée, legally regulated rent, government control of agricultural prices, basic human rights for the indigenous people, liberation of the courts from the control of the squires (2) and abolition of beating and torture by the squires. Other proposals had to do with improvement in education and the procedure for the implementation of the reforms (3). This memorandum created such a stir that it aroused the interest of Russian government circles in the incredibly backward feudal system in Estonia. As a consequence, this action which was marked by its comprehensiveness, the radicality of the reforms demanded and the novelty of its tactics as well as by the boldness with which it was promoted, became a matter of national importance. There are reasons to think that these persistent demands have accelerated the issuance of the law on the valla-communities regarding self-government and administration thereby making them independent of the control of the squires.

Such activity produced a school of hard experience in which the leading spirits obtained their first taste in the intricaries of social and political struggle. However, they learned their lessons quickly and well. Furthermore they crowned all these endeavors with a self-sacrificing spirit prepared to undergo and to withstand ruthless persecution and heavy punishments, including beating and prison.

1 Among these the action of the year 1864 was most far-reaching. This

memorandum was presented on behalf of 24 valla-communities.

2 They also demanded the use of the Estonian language in the courts.

3 They proposed a commission of Russian higher officials who would be

responsible for working out reforms together with the Estonian representatives.


##171This battle formed an integral part of the resurgence of Estonian culture which came into being only through the gravest of birthpangs. It could be effected only by the heroes at work in cultivating forests and swamps as well as by the tenants - veritable miracle-workers in the period of the corvée - by the heroes of resistance, the activists and fighters and victims of beating and torture who nevertheless remained unbroken in spirit. All this swelled into a mighty upheaval. The rudest form of the feudal order of the knighthood could not resist such an irresistible yearning for freedom although it wreaked what damage it could, employing the usual means of misery, imposed hunger and torture. This upheaval finally brought down the system. The squires lost this round of the battle. They became fearful since the news about the revolutions in Western Europe had reached the peasants and what had taken place in Western Europe conjured up frightening visions.

Thus the gains of this fierce struggle, as the following treatment shows, were in part considerable, in part considerably important and in the basic issue even epochmaking - the people performed a miracle considering the circumstances and the fact that all the odds were against them.

This upheaval is an example of the active participation of the masses of the people in determining their fate and shaping their future - as, indeed, the people have been throughout the centuries the carrying capacity of Estonian life. This accomplishment of the Estonians on behalf of their country demonstrates what a difference there is culturally between the oppressors represented by a degenerate gentry bent on creating widespread misery and the indigenous people able to create order and to introduce modern civilization and culture, thus accomplishing a transformation.



Serious crises in the economic management of the estates and the threat of an ever-growing rebellion compelled the squires to revise their attitude.

The gains of this hard struggle and battle can be seen in the new agrarian laws which gradually began to appear. These laws enabled work towards the rehabilitation of the Estonian farmstead, although it was a very slow process. In South Estonia, this law was introduced




in 1849 (1); in North Estonia not until 1856. Although the squires left the regulations concerning the right of possession untouched (2), they were compelled to guarantee the right of use by the peasants under a free agreement of tenancy. This was the first step toward a betterment of the conditions in farming. Furthermore, these laws foresaw the termination of statute labor which was eventually replaced by longterm rental agreements (3). Also raised was the possibility of provision for the right to purchase the land on an outright ownership basis.

Other regulations were related to the economic and social conditions. By the regulation of the passport in 1863, the peasants finally obtained the basic freedom to choose the place of their dwelling. Another important law followed. It was a great relief when the estates, those notorious places of manhandling, torture and crime, were compelled to abandon their brisk and cruel activities (4).

Also through the law of the valla-community which was issued in 1886, the peasants obtained the right to govern the communal matters. The obligatory transition from the corvee to monetary rent finally took place in 1868. That established the essential premises for the recreation of the Estonian farmstead.

Of course, what was thus obtained was still a very narrow way to bargain with the squires. The burden of exorbitant rents cut deeply into the flesh of the peasants, requiring superhuman endurance and resoluteness for attainment of the long-range goal. Many became disheartened by such a frightening outlook and left their homeland in despair in order to create their existence under easier conditions in Russia. As soon as the new passport regulations opened the way, peasants began to leave the country on a scale which constituted a mass emigration (6). The number of the people which through unbearable conditions were compelled to leave their homeland is too great.

To those who remained fell the task of living with the more difficult way - to manage it through their work and skills. Although the burden of rent was very high, the peasant at least was not kept with his fami-

1 As an act of despair the Diet of Livonia in 1849 opened a peasant mortgagebank and permitted the landlords to sell land to the peasants.2 In this respect the laws represent the position of the reactionary squires: the

squire remained the owner of all the land.

3 See J. ULUOTS, Grundzüge der Agrargeschichte Estlands (Tartu 1935), p. 143ff.

4 The abolition of the right of punishment on the estates took place in 1865.

5 See page 231ff.




ly on the fields of the squires. He was thus enabled to take better care of his work. The amount of energy and work could now be invested in his farmstead and he could accomplish more. With skill, hard work and ruthless thrift the peasants were determined to overcome all of the enormous hardships.

Although at the beginning there was much distrust and new tricks were expected from their oppressors, the movement rapidly began to develop. The determination of the most aggressive set the example for others. They demonstrated by their hard work how to manage this. The rearrangement of the plots meant the elimination of the old distribution of fields in scattered lots - a system which had made farming difficult. Now the farmers got all their lots in one parcel which stimulated better management. The tilling of the fields now became better and more thorough. Furthermore, innovations in farming so important for progressive minded people also became feasible in housekeeping matters. These were separated from the village community system. The farmer could now make maximum use of his ability and skill.

This development proceeded so rapidly that by the year 1868 the picture in this respect had changed essentially. At that time in North Estonia 68% of the farmsteads were in the hands of the tenants on the basis of monetary rent. In South Estonia this percentage reached 80,71% The rest of the farms was still under the old system or some other kind of arrangement.

This development had other consequences, namely in the origin of the class of landless people who could not find employment in the villages (1). The squires in their insatiable avidity, of course, tried to grab them in order to press them into the bondage of their estates. However, since the struggle had also opened the way to freedom in handicraft (2), these made use of it by learning various trades, and moving into towns so that industry began to develop, thereby increasing the role of the Estonians in urban life. Another part of these landless people emigrated to Russia in order to create their new existence there.

1 N. KÖSTNER, Teoorjuse langemisest ja maaproletariaadi tekkest

Liivimaal (Tartu 1927), p. 29ff.

2 The system of the monopoly of guilds, which had kept the development

of industry in chains, was abolished in 1866.





More and greater changes came when as time went on the farmsteads were bought free through the use of mortgages.

The battle went on until the goal was accomplished. In these decisive struggles and battles the way was finally carved out for complete emancipation from the estate through freehold purchase by the peasants of their farmsteads. First these arrived on the horizon as an extremely narrow way and a very remote possibility. Initially, only a very small part of the farmsteads could be bought for free, permanent ownership. In most cases, farms could be bought only on credit (1) and this on difficult terms. The only financially strong farmers were in Viljandimaa and Pärnumaa. They had gained their economic strength through the cultivation of flax. Thus the most important results of all these endeavors took place in these two counties. However, these farmers could afford to buy farms even for their younger sons and often also

in other counties. Others had to work hard and save most rigidly - accordingly, the impetus was not set in motion before I860 (2). Only after this year would a wider movement begin in South Estonia (3); once it did, it continued increasing in strength all the time.

This very arduous way, moreover, was seriously aggravated (4) so that the new proprietors were put to additional hard tests. Generally, the peasants managed to meet even these last vexations through hard work and extreme thrift. Even in the hardest and most demanding seasons of pressing work, they tried to come through the struggle with their families alone. It was only through the travail of the hardest work and sweat that the class of Estonian peasant proprietors or small-farm holders could emerge.

This new era was full of aspirations. Leaders emerged who devoted much of their work in public life to the founding of agricultural associations and inspiring leadership.

1 The downpayment by the peasants was 500-1000 roubles and the debt had to

be paid within a period of 20-40 years.

2 The most detailed account of this development has been published on the

diocese of Laiuse. See J. Kõpp, Laiuse kihelkonna ajalugu (Tartu 1937), p. 327ff.

3 In North Estonia the movement began about 1880.

4 Since the price set by the squires was very high and since the prices of farm

produce began to decline, it became extremely difficult to pay for the mortgage.




Thus the Estonian farmstead began to emerge again, unfolding more and more the indigenous features (1) which have characterized the flourishing Estonian farmstead as it existed before the initial paralysis by the intruders and the subsequent destruction and ruin throughout the centuries. This constitutes an event in the history of the Estonian people whose importance cannot be exaggerated.

What actually took place marks an era of civilization (2) achieved by the Estonians despite all of the efforts of their oppressors to prevent it. They shifted themselves from the state of serfdom to well-to-do status, even wealth (3), - and all this within two generations. When the first act of this battle is placed side by side with the last act, one can realize what all this really means. In the first act we see outlawed, abused fieldworkers, exploited human wrecks in revolt, trying to take over the ordering of their conditions from the hands of oppressors. But when the curtain goes up for the last act one cannot even recognize what had happened in the meantime. Here is what comes into view: an active farmer-class (4) which has brought civilization into every aspect of farming and gardening, restoring agriculture and rural economy to the dignified status which the Estonians had given it before it was ruined and despoiled.

What was created were loci for the flame which had been flickering throughout centuries, always in danger of being extinguished. Now it found shelter on the Estonian farmstead. The blessings of this place of refuge broke out in fresh stimuli of enrichment. Immediately this

1 Cf. E. UUSTALU, 'Eesti talu läbi aegade', in: Eesti talu (Lund 1959), p. 7ff.

2 Cf. M. VESKE, 'Uber den Kulturfortschritt im Leben der Esten', in: SbGEstnG

1874 (1875), p. 139ff.

3 '. . . in den letzten 8 bis 10 Jahren sind die Bauern, nachdem sie Erbbesitzer

geworden, fast ausnahmslos wohlhabend, viele von ihnen selbst reich geworden',

ibid., p. 143.

4 'Viele Wohnhäuser sieht man von den rauchigen "Riege" getrennt und mit

Schornsteinen versehen; an der Stelle von Wäldern, Morästen und Buschland

erheben sich stattliche Bauerhöfe, von fruchtbaren Feldem umgeben; starke, gut

genährte Pferde ziehen an "ausländischen" Pflügen, die von selbstbewussten

Männern in fast stadtischer Tracht geleitet werden. Der Bauer führt auf

eisenbeschlagenem Wagen sein Korn zur Tenne und fährt nicht selten schon

auf Federwagen zur Kirche. Die vor einigen Jahrzehnten noch im ausschliesslichen

Gebrauch befindlich gewesenen unbeschlagenen Wagen gelten heutzutage

gewissermassen nur noch als vereinsamte Überbleibsel einer hinter uns liegenden

Vergangenheit', ibid., p. 140.




hearth began to spread sparks. These soon developed into a blaze, animating intellectual, educational, spiritual, cultural, social and communal life. Thus did the Estonian farmstead enter upon a very important role in the revitalization of the whole life of the nation. Every undertaking in this vital process found its support from the farmstead. In the tortured body of the nation, the pulse of life began to beat again and to beat vigorously.

This struggle is a very important aspect in the history of culture of the Estonians with its drama of battle for self-preservation, the poetry of enlivening of the never forgotten dignity, and the chronicle of endless hard work.







Hand in hand with the struggle to improve the physical conditions of existence went the efforts to create life commensurate to the deeper needs of the people. What these deeper needs were comes to the fore in the intellectual and spiritual legacy that was in progress in the development of the social thought and spiritual and intellectual culture. Enrichment of life in every level, producing ever new stimuli, contributed to the swell which produced the national renaissance (1).



An entirely new factor emerged in the development of the life of the people - the indigenous leadership. It arose spontaneously with the resurgence of the nation as manifested in the various actions which we have already seen. Its variegation is a symptom of the vitality the nation was able to produce at the same time.

First a group of academically educated Estonians emerged who rejected assimilation and deliberately and conscientiously sided with their people in the anguish of struggle and battle. This, considering the circumstances, is a phenomenon of utmost importance.

As the following facts show, life's energy received an awakening as if from a hidden secret world, stimuli for thought and activities which went directly against everything that the surrounding required in the natural way seen from the angle of realism and facts of life - namely by assimilation to rid oneself of deep poverty, social injustice, op-

1 Cf. M. OJAMAA - A. VARMAS - T. VARMAS, Eesti ajalugu

(Stockholm 1946), p. 197ff.




pression and harassment and thousands of headaches which waited for sons of the people who remained faithful to their people. Yet, there were those who felt that they could not do otherwise but to follow the pathway of the awareness that they were flesh from the flesh of their own people. It demanded of them constant fighting and struggle in order to become more aware, to remain acutely alert through these bitter experiences. These were circumstances involving tragedy upon tragedy for these individuals. On the other hand, such cases give testimony in an awe-inspiring way to that quality of life which centuries of oppression could not stamp out and which everything that had relentlessly been injected into the body of the nation could not narcotise.

This group, headed by K. J. Peterson. F. R. Fählmann and F. R. Kreutzwald (1) focussed their searchlight on language, history, folklore (2) and the ancient indigenous religion in order to bring out the true being and essence of the Estonian genius. What they discovered in these sources was the evidence which allowed deep insight into the greatness of the soul, the profundities of the thought-world and the moral qualities - all that which was fostered and cultivated without disturbance in the happier times of independence and which would strengthen the nation in its fate. Their particular interest belonged to mythology and to the historical elements in the folkloristic traditions - here they recognized remnants of the age-long sagas of the heroes, myths and even of an epic. (3) All these riches coming from the deepest sources of the spirituality were able to galvanize the people, to kindle a national way of thinking and to instill selfconsciousness and pride, all necessary for the resurgence of an ideological orientation. The dim memories of the past freedom, kept alive in the hearts of the people by means of folk-sagas, folk-songs, and other traditions, brightened again. The dignity of man began to stretch itself out anew. Everything that these endeavors brought out and poured into the arena of cultural struggle contributed to the inauguration of a new epoch.

In this the role carried out by Fählmann is unrivalled. What his tireless and selfsacrificing efforts produced was a vision, a vision given to the Estonian people, who, although still under oppression, pain and agony, could see themselves in the continuous stream of the

1 G. SUITS, Nuori Kreutzwald (Helsinki 1953).

2 Cf. O. LOORITS, Estnische Volkserzählungen (Berlin 1959).

3 See page 185.




generations of their forefathers, characterized by the ethos and the greatness of the spirit. It must be regarded as a miracle that this genius took upon himself a gigantic task and carried it out. Indeed he compelled the monstrous exploiters to recognize the people as bearers of their indigenous culture - and that at a time when the nation was still prostrate, gasping for the breath of life! And this he carried out from year to year in a self-sacrificing way (1). His was a heroic deed which only a genius could manage. His health broke down under the weight of this gigantic undertaking. His premature death was a great blow to the fostering of spirituality, the ennobling of the soul and the refinement of the spirit. However, what Fählmann could accomplish was a blow to the propaganda of the Baltic Germans according to whom an Estonian was something between a human being and a beast of burden. He wanted to depict the Estonians not only as human beings, but human beings with a culture who thanks only to the so-called 'bringers of culture' had been pressed down to such a low level of existence.

Leaders like Fählmann and Kreutzwald became power plants able to electrify the masses, to bolster and strengthen their willpower and to inspire wide segments for action. This was a climate in which the Estonian intelligentsia in the broader sense - namely the community of schoolmasters and teachers - could be shaped. The intelligentsia first became eminent in South Estonia, particularly in Viljandimaa, where self-respect and the sense of identity had grown bolder due to independence in economic matters. As a result a greater advance in schooling and education took place here. Cadres of leadership soon emerged. They came from the main stream of the peasant proprietors and from the rapidly growing urban population though to a lesser extent from the latter segment. The formation of the intelligentsia had the especial advantage of having the inspiration provided by Fählmann, Kreutzwald and their associates. The merit of their leadership in the history of Estonian culture lies in the transmission of the Estonian spirituality - the values vital for the Estonian genius inherited from the generations in the past - to their contemporary young intelligentsia.

1 When E. Lönnrot in 1844 visited Estonia, he could not admire enough how he

managed to accomplish his superhuman burden of duties. He had 50-60 patients

every day, double duties at the university, duties in the Estonian Learned Society

and visitors. And behind all this was the burning love for his people which led to

sacrifices in literary creation.




In the development of social thought, the role of the leadership in the press occupies its special place. Although it was very difficult to obtain permission to establish newspapers, tenacity did produce some results. While O. W. Masing edited his newspaper (1) it was in good hands and of high quality. Unfortunately, this was of short duration. Among these efforts, special honor belongs to Jannsen, first as editor of the Perno Postimees, and then of the Tartu Postimees. In Jannsen's person a leader emerged who was not only a man of the very fibre of the people but who also possessed extraordinary talents, and above all the ability to find a way to the soul of the people. He was a master in popularizing his convictions. Even in the first issue of the Perno Postimees he did not address the peasants but the Estonian nation. Although he had to be very careful because of strict censorship and the ever-present surveillance of the squires, his intentions were well understood by his readers: attainment of the natural rights of the people which fixed the groundlines for his national objectives. Just as he himself worked hard for his people, so did he urge others to do the same. His newspaper was filled with inspiration, instigation, and stimulation, hammering at the central point: the dignity of a self-reliant people to arrange their own affairs in the administration of their communal life, to improve their cultural life and to deepen education (2).

Fählmann, Kreutzwald and Jannsen, men of high standards, personal integrity and dignity, were able to electrify the people in their pursuit of culture. Fählmann with his personal commitment in particular set an example. Despite the enormous burdens placed upon him as a doctor who had to fight the frequent epidemics which flamed up during these difficult times, he sacrificed himself, refusing to save his health by taking on manifold and demanding duties for the sake of his people. For this purpose he was ready to burn the candle of his life at both ends (3). He - besides his genius also an embodiment of the nobility of soul (4) - exercised a profound effect upon the struggle in behalf of the

1 Tarto Maa rahva Näddala Leht (1821-25).

2 Jannsen in his newspaper instigated still greater efforts in education. He also

was a protagonist for the education of women.

3 In late fall 1849 only a wreck was left of him.

4 One example of the manifestation of this speaks for itself. When visiting poor

patients - he was the doctor of the poor of the town - he left money to alleviate

their misery but always telling that this money does not come from his pocket but

from a donor who wants to remain anonymous. P. R. KREUTZWALD, 'Dr. F. R.

Fählmann's Leben', in: VerhGEstnG II,4 (Dorpat 1852).




national culture. The high standards of these leaders, their commitment to service and their vision of the mission of the nation did much to enrich social thought, to refine and to enlarge the horizon (1).



The people did not yield to the calamities even of these gross dimensions. Their spirit remained unbroken and their spiritual and intellectual life sought ways of enrichment. This is manifested in their continuous efforts to find opportunities to meet the deeper needs of life in schooling and education, whatever the effort and sacrifice despite the extreme poverty and misery in which they were kept by force. Such efforts for the sake of education and the discipline of the spirit - which indeed are superhuman in face of utter want and poverty - vividly present us with the best way of grasping the genius of the people. They scratched together whatever they could, even at the expense of their own stomachs in order to provide education for their children. This was done in the full awareness that their endeavors for education depended solely and only on their own strength. In regard to these deep needs of life, they could expect nothing from the landlords and the ruling class except obstruction.

The interest of the people in education is shown not only by their extraordinary financial sacrifices but also by their concern for the performance demonstrated in the instruction itself (2).

A new epoch towards the advance of education began with the issuance of the laws of 1816 and 1819. And since the expenses for the establishment of the new schools were laid upon the shoulders of the peasants themselves, the gentry notorious for its refusal to do anything

1 One example speaks for itself. The Estonian people, themselves wrestling with

extreme misery and hunger, accomplished an admirable feat when they spontaneously

collected kopecs upon kopecs and continuously sent thousands of roubles to the aid

of the Finns who were in deep suffering and hunger.

2 This has an older tradition. The picture portrayed in the so-called private

rights which were fixed for the peasants in Vigala, Läänemaa, in Kandla, Virumaa

and in Halliku, Järvamaa, speaks for itself. The church warden, a peasant, had

the duty of visiting the school frequently - at least once a week - in order to follow

the work of the teacher and to observe the diligence of the pupils in their studies.

Die privaten Bauerrechte Estlands, hrsg. von G. O. HANSEN (Dorpat 1896) ==

VerhEstGG XVIII, p. 91ff.; 210.




except exploit others could not use the old arguments to rebut the proposed law.

These laws laid the foundation for a new system in education. It must be noted that the foundation of primary schools was now finally fixed in the law (1). These were the valla (2) schools (3). As is to be expected, though the financial burden for the schools was laid upon the peasants, the squires arrogated to themselves the authority of directing the affairs of these schools. They usurped the right of appointing the teacher in cooperation with the pastor.

The law for Livonia issued in 1819 insofar as the question of education is concerned, in particular marks an advance in several respects. First of all, primary instruction was made obligatory: every child who had reached 10 years of age was put under the obligation of attending school. Furthermore, the law introduced a higher level in the primary schools - the parochial school (4). Its foundation was made obligatory in the communities (5). These schools were meant to be centers for the preparation of teachers for the valla schools.

The application of the provision of the law was very hard. There were a few dedicated men who rendered good service to the cause of schooling when these new opportunities presented themselves. They were found in North Estonia (6) as well as in South Estonia (7).

Despite all the difficulties and slow progress some results did begin to appear (8), though insofar as the parish schools are concerned they were very meager (9). Yet, regardless of the poor and very deplorable

1 The law of 1816 for North Estonia required for a school supported by the

peasants for every 1,000 souls in an area. The law of 1819 for Livonia demanded

a valla school tor every 500 men.

2 Vald is a district of a number of villages, see page 147.

3 Their curriculum included reading, the study of the catechism and hymns.

4 These schools had a broader curriculum, which besides religious subjects

included writing, mathematics and other subjects affording useful knowledge.

5 Every parish with at least 2,000 men was obligated to establish such a school.

6 Pastor O. R. Holtz, the dean of Lääne-Harju, worked on a committee for the

establishment of the valla schools in North Estonia.

7 About O. W. Masing, see page 152.

8 In 1820, in South Estonia there were 485 valla schools but with only 9700

children - 28,000 had to be content with instruction at home.

9 In 1820, there was no parish school in South Estonia; in 1828 their number

was 7.




conditions under which education liad to suffer, all the efforts were not in vain. Some results could even be described as encouraging (1).

As a matter of fact, a great obstacle was removed when the situation finally developed to the point that authority for the administration of the schools and over the appointment of the teachers was taken from the hands of the gentry. This reform marked an important event in the history of education on the Baltic lands. A segment of life was finally freed from the control of the gentry.

The organ which was created consisted of the school administration for the district and it was established in every district in South (2) Estonia (3) and North Estonia (4).

With these reforms the road was opened for new phases of development. Thus another segment of life was set free from unnatural suppression and it is natural that this life now began to develop in every direction. The effects of this became manifest very soon (5).

Further progress is marked not only by a steady extension of the network of schools but also by a steady improvement in instruction. More and more attention was given to the work itself. This appears in the changes made in the curriculum (6).

Instruction as such was steadily improved through the preparation of teachers who were furnished with better knowledge and pedagogi-

1 In 1835/6 of 5,350 children more than 90% could read.

2 It consisted of the members of the office of the chief church trustee

(Oberkirchenvorsteher), of two revisors, one civil, another clerical,

under the leadership of the chief church trustee. There were two such

offices, one at Tartu-Võru and the other at Pärnu-Viljandi. The district

school administrations were subordinated to the highest level, the upper

school administration, which also included an educational expert.

3 Cf. Instruction für Einrichtüng und Verwaltung der Livländischen

evangelisch-Lutherischen Confession (Riga 1851).

4 The new peasant law of 1849 added the parish school administration.

It operated on the local level. It consisted of the church trustee as chairman,

the local pastor, the teacher of the parochial school and a school elder

of the parish.

5 The organizatorial structure of the school administration was somewhat

different, but in time the main differences were removed. Beginning with

the lowest, the agencies were: the parish-school-commission, the county-

school-commision and the upper-school-commission.

6 The requirements in the valla-schools were supplemented by writing and

mathematics, later by some other additions, namely gymnastics tor the boys

and needle-work tor the girls. In the parochial schools German language

played an important role and later Russian was added.




cal training. For the preparation of teachers in the parish schools, seminaries were established (1). The seminary in Valk, though not founded for Estonians (2), became important for the Estonians who studied there.

On this steadily advancing front, new and better schoolbooks and materials were prepared (3) in order to keep pace with higher demands.

The great success of this educational work certainly goes back in large part to the attitude of the indigenous people towards education and schooling. Peasants even in the most difficult conditions exerted great efforts to make as much education as possible available and to carry whatever burdens were necessary to sustain the work.



A real landmark in the history of Estonian culture was the sudden appearance of literature (4) of high quality. Indeed, an abundance of wealth began to flow, enriching the literary deposit beyond anything previously achieved. The inspiration and strength for their accomplishment came from the sources which the genius of the nation had generated throughout the centuries and embedded in the treasury of folklore. And the man who had the instinct to tap this source of inspiration was none other than Fählmann. The stream of materials - in sagas, myths, folk-tales, legends, folk-songs and other folkloristic traditions - constituted a real event in the literary tradition of Estonia. This treasury of wealth became accessible through the services of Fählmann and Kreutzwald with which they surprised their contemporaries. In addition to the edition of these materials, the folkloristic motifs and episodes from history and literature in turn furnished inspiration for literary productivity. Works, which reached the level of international belles lettres, were written on profound themes able to touch the soul of the people and to animate the struggle for a better future for the nation. Thus also was a new genre, social satire, introduced into Estonian literature.

1 The first was established in Valmiera. Latvia, 1839.

2 This was founded by a Latvian pedagogue J. Cimze (Zimse) as a private

school, but in 1849 it was transformed into a public school. Instruction was

given in German.

3 Here books must be mentioned in particular; they were prepared by Johann

Georg Schwartz, pastor of Põlva (d. 1874).

4 Cf. E. H. HARRIS, Literature in Estonia (London 1943), p. 16ff.; A. MÄGI,

Estonian Literature (Stockholm 1968), p. 15ff.; H. JÄNES, Geschichte der

estnischen Literatur (Stockholm 1965), p. 25ff.




From this wealth of tradition Fählmann found inspiration for even a greater task - one which remained the dream of his life. In the materials which he had collected from the people, he recognized the component-parts of a national epic: Kalevipoeg (1). From the mist of oblivion the contours of an epic began to come to the fore. Research has shown that the tradition of Kalevipoeg was originally created and developed in Northeastern Estonia (2) from which area these traditions followed the general path of migration to Finland (3) It represents a synthesis between a nature giant and spirit, developed into a hero and benefactor of the land, as a symbol of the Estonian people (4). Fählmann published (5) preliminary materials (6) but he was not allowed to realize his vision (7).

The genre of poetry in various branches was brought to the same high level by Kristjan Jaak Peterson (8), a personality of wide horizon (9). His odes and idylls belong to the classics of Estonian poetry.

These enrichments of the literary genre spawned energetic activities across the whole range of literature.

A new genre appeared in popular-educational literature (10). Its quality was determined by the standards set by the work of Fählmann and Kreutzwald. Numerous publications were issued to serve the purpose of enriching the intellect, of developing literary taste, and of fostering values for social and communal life.

Another new genre appeared in popular scientific literature. The greatest merits in this field belong to Kreutzwald (11).

1 I. c. the son of Kalev.

2 In Virumaa, Harjumaa, Järvamaa and Tartumaa (the northern part)

3 Cf. A. ANNIST, "F.R. Kreutzwaldi "Kalevipoeg" II: Kalevipoja saamislugu

(Tartu 1936)

4 Cf. H. WINTER, Kalevanpojat-Kalevipoeg', in: Estonian Poetry and Language:

Studies m Honor of Ants Oras (Stockholm 1965), p. 217.

5. Die Sage vom Kalevipoeg, in: VehrGEstnG (Dorpat 1839).

6 Cf. SUITS, Eesti kirjanduslugu I, p. 112ff.

7 In his sketch nearly all the more important motifs are present, although not in

equal presentation.

8 Peterson's literary creation received inspiration from classical Greek poetry,

John Milton and F. G. Klopstock.

9 His translation of Finnish mythology shows how he estimated the common

sources of Esto-Finnish folkloristic traditions.

10 The Estonian Learned society included in its many programs also the creation

of educational literature.

11 Kreutzwald started with the first picture-magazine, Ma-ilm ja mõnda, mis

seal sees leida (1818). He did not have the expected success.



The output in the area of narratives and stories is very rich. The most important development has to do with the fact that the sons of the country (1) took over this field which usually consisted of material of a sentimental nature. Only a few such works found inspiration from the folkloristic traditions (2). However, the output for the wider public was outweighed by religious literature (3).

The total picture in the area of literature shows us a radical change was underway. A comparison of current book-production with that of previous times reveals this clearly enough. The curve jumps up suddenly, thus indicating lively activity in book production. In this respect, special honor belongs to the publishing house and press of H. Laakmann (4) in Tartu (5). He specialized in the promotion of Estonian literature. Through this publishing house in Tartu, the same town in which the publishing house of J. C. Schünmann (6) already had won its merits, became the center of Estonian book-culture. Tartu also became the central depot (7) of the Estonian books founded by the Estonian Learned Society (8).

Such a rapid growth in literature is an indicator of the cultural needs of the people. The impetus in the realm of spiritual culture shows us that its literary production was swallowed whole by the people, thus sustaining vigorously also this aspect of the struggle for cultural advancement.

In conclusion, these endeavors and accomplishments in the realm of literature must be judged epochmaking. And this in several respects. The intensity of the struggle in the realm of literary culture is manifested in the deep change undergone by the physiognomy of the literature. In the development of the printed word, a new factor emerged which changed the picture completely. The Estonians themselves took

1 O. W. Freundlich, F. C. Lorenzsonn, B. Gildemann, J. Sommer.

2 O. W. Freundlich.

3 The new authors who became most popular were C. Körber and J. V. Jannsen.

4 Founded In 1837.

5 Cf. Graafilise kunstiasutise H. Laakmann Tartus asutamine ja arendamine 1837-

1927 (Tartu 1927).

6 Founded in 1814.

7 This was founded for the purpose of disseminating literature, particularly

enlightening and educational material. This depot furnished bookstores founded

in other towns.8 The society also founded the first library of Estonian books.




the cultivation of their literary life into their own hands. With this change another followed - vigor as manifested in the increase of the literary genre. In fact. the spectrum grew greatly. With this change still another followed. Whether these authors were men of talents and qualifications or whether they were men whose zeal was greater than their artistic abilities and were therefore able to serve only the less demanding public, they took the subject from the life and the thought-world of their own people. By comparison with the subject matter borrowed from foreign sources which was of foreign mentality the cultivation of the thought, values and life of the indigenous people through literary creation represents a great advance. This beneficial shift also affected the literature designed to serve a wider public by making room for reading materials born out of the Estonian mentality and life. All this is inestimable as a conscious service to the life interests ot a people still experiencing the agony and anguish of the period of the corvée. These sons of the people spoke to the soul of their people, offering a balm for all their wounds, strengthening, ennobling and animating the soul to superhuman efforts.

This advance was so great that it determined the future course of the literary creation. Moreover, with regard to the artistic qualities, this literary creation even reached such a level that works produced have become and remained a valuable dimension in the living legacy of Estonian literature.


The innate need for higher values, the fervor for education and the pertinency of endeavors to overcome the difficulties set ever higher goals for developing leadership. Before such a spirit, even the gates of the precincts of academe could not prevail; sooner or later the sons of the indigenous people, whom the noble, founder of the university had had in mind, were bound to be admitted.

Academic education remained a practical impossibility - but there were some bold spirits hungering for higher education who ventured the impossible. Extreme poverty stood in the way. Young men had to fight desparately to overcome, it and it took superhuman efforts not to succumb to the difficulties and hardships caused by it. The classic case




of Peterson who has a place in the history of the Estonian literature serves as an illustration. He studied theology in 1819-20, but then was compelled to abandon his efforts. The spirit of tenacity would not be defeated: where some fell in the battle, others rose to try again.

The halls of the department of medicine saw several Estonian students. The most famous were Fählmann and Kreutzwald. In the field of agronomy, the first Estonian was Jakob Johnson-Hantwig. In the area of art Köler's name has already been introduced.

These academically educated Estonians were the men who laid the foundation for Estonian scholarly work.

In the area of medicine, Dr. Fählmann (1) was known as an efficient physician (2) who used methods of therapy which he had developed. His reputation in medical research led to his consideration for a professorship on a number of occasions (3).

Another example of relentless tenacity is J. Johnson-Hantwig. He pursued his graduate studies and earned his doctorate abroad (4). In the area of the Estonian language itself, a signal event occurred when work and research was undertaken by Estonian scholars themselves, and further when they based their work on the language spoken by the people. Scholars like Lector D. H. Jürgenson, Fählmann and Kreutzwald fostered studies in phonetics, morphology and orthography, and thereby have left deep vestiges (5) on the way of the research of the Estonian language (6). In these studies the Finnish language also was taken into account (7). In this period, the first history of Estonian literature came to birth under the hand of Jürgenson. However, his efforts to produce the dictionary - a massive project! - ended with his untimely death.

Another area of scholarly work attained an elan of its own. This concerns the treasury of folk-lore, mythology and folk-song - the product

1 Fählmann earned his doctorate in 1827.

2 Fählmann was the physician with the widest practice in Tartu.

3 See page 190.

4 He earned his doctorate in Jena in 1840.

5 The coordinated efforts of these scholars brought the long controversy over the

rivalry of the North Estonian and South Estonian idioms to a solution, despite the

opposition of ecclesiastical circles.

6 Cf. A. RAUN - A. SAARESTE, Introduction to Estonian Linguistics (Wiesbaden

1965) = Ural-Altaische Bibliothek XII, p. 70ff.

7 Cf. E. AHRENS, Grammatik der Ehstnischen Sprache (Reval 1843, 2: 1853). For

this reform he received stimuli from E. Lönnrot who visited Estonia in 1844.




of the creative genius of the people. The foundations for gathering these from the people were laid by Fählmann and Kreutzwall. These traditions revealed a quality which aroused extraordinary interest in the country (1) and abroad (2).

The idea of coordinating scholarly work in various areas of Estonian culture had for years been envisaged by Fählmann: that great day in the history of culture of the Estonians finally arrived with foundation of the Estonian Learned Society (3) in 1838 (4). It was founded by a small group of learned Estonians led by Fählmann. Some liberal professors from Germany upon whom the Estonian scholars had made an impact joined the group, particularly Prof. A. P. Hueck, dean of the department of medicine and Fählmann's friend. The program in the scholarly sector included research projects in history, language, literature, folklore, mythology, ethnology and archeology. As was to be expected, such a step evoked the savage reaction of the squires and the knighthood mouthing the well-known platitude - that the Estonians are unable to become a cultured nation and that they were fortunate, indeed, to be slaves of the Baltic Germany (5). This made the undertaking by the leaders very risky. The works published (6), however, gave their own destimony. The tasks took on greater dimensions and the publications soon reached the limelight of the international scholarly world.

This small avant-garde of the Estonian scholarship gained such momentum that it even made inroads on the body of teachers in the world of academe. In the person of J. S. F. Boubrig (7), the lectorate saw the first man with scholarly talents and qualifications who began to fructify the work after it had been in the hands of Germans who hardly did anything more than grammatical exercises and reading. Jürgenson was elected lector of the Estonian language at the university (8). His superhuman efforts to overcome the difficulties and the strenuous work 1 The journal Das Inland opened its pages to the materials prepared by Kreutzwald.2 See page 190f.

3 Õpetatud Eesti Selts, founded in January 1838.

4 Õpetatud Eesti Selts 1838-l938 (Tartu 1938).

5 So G. von Nolcken in his controversy with Fählmann and others.6. Verhandlungen der Gelehrten Estnischen Gesellschaft (Dorpat 1840-43) later

Sitzungsberichte (Dorpat 1861-1938).

7 He became lector in 1830.

8 1837-41.




required for undertakings in several areas wore him out (1) - the sad fate of all these pioneers - death knocked on his door all too soon. Upon his death, Fählmann took over the lectorate and carried it until his own untimely death.

Because of his erudition in methods of therapy the university invited Fählmann to lecture in the department of medicine (2) during the vacancy of a chair. When the question of filling the chair came up - the same came up later in connection with another chair (3) - and since his research and high moral qualities had won him many friends, his candidature was raised. However, his siding unequivocally with his suffering people cost him the professorship.



The endeavors in the sphere of academic life were carried out with such vigor that they produced results which extended far beyond the boundaries of the homeland. Men appeared who, regardless of the fact that the odds were against them, began to reach higher plateaus in this respect.

Agronomist Jakob Johnson-Hantwig, who came from Viljandimaa, became an author of a number of books and, by virtue of his abilities, editor of a scholarly journal in economics in St. Petersburg (4).

J. Köler's creative work in painting led him to a position of eminence. He became the first Estonian artist to acquire international recognition. This survey must include also the accomplishment of the production of the first history of Estonian literature (5) - an accomplishment which is the more notable since the time for life allowed to Jürgenson was very short. This is the first systematized history (6). It was edited posthumously and as such could not be completed as its author had intended.

Insofar as the debut of Estonian culture on the international scene is concerned, epochmaking importance belongs to Fählmann. He undertook the task of introducing the spiritual and intellectual values of the

1 Jürgenson at the same time was inspector of the Teachers' Seminary In Tartu.

2 1843-45, the chair of pharmacology.

3 In 1848 in connection with the tilling of the chair of therapy.

4 Mitteilungen der k. freien ökonomischen Gesellschaft zu St. Petersburg (1844-64).

5 Kurze Geschichte der ehstnischen Literatur I-II (Dorpat 1843-44).

6 The survey by Rosenplänter, see page 152, represents only a dry repertorium of

the works according to the date of time of publication.




genius of the nation, as embedded in the treasury of folklore, to the international audience. Already with his Sagen (1) which he presented to the Estonian Learned Society in 1839, he aroused wide attention (2). In these myths, he recognized integral parts of the national epic Kalevipoeg. Throughout his life he was under the spell of the desire to fill in the gaps and to complete the epic (3).

His publication of a cycle of folk-tales and legends in the proceedings of the Estonian Learned Society (4) made an immediate impact. In fact, Fählmann made a very deep impression (5). Some of these narratives caused amazement - for example the Koit ja hämarik (Dawn and Twilight) (6) with its profound serenity, deep spirituality, refinement of spirit and artistic beauty. It was translated into many languages, and became a source of inspiration to poets in other countries.

Fählmann's visionary perception and creative power were so great that he created myths based on the components borrowed from the folk-lore. His work reached the level of contemporary world literature, arousing interest and evincing recognition. What Fählmann was able to perform constituted the first great accomplishment in the propagation of Estonian culture.

The initial accomplishments were followed by others. The work which was continued by Kreutzwald, brought new success and recognition. This is exemplified in the case of the first anthology (7) of Estonian folk-songs (8). It became the most important contribution made by a literary society (9), which was interested only in Baltic-German history,

1 Sagen: Muinaslood.2 A great part of this was published by Prof. F. KRUSE, Ur-Geschichte des

Esthnischen Volksstammes (Dorpat 1846). Kruse published this without the consent

of the author.3 And even when his failing health compelled him to abandon his praxis as a

physician, weakened as he was by fever and attacks of coughing, he made preparations

to go back to the people in order to gather more traditions and to complete the

treasury of myths and sagas still remaining. His untimely death shattered those


4 VerhGEstnG (Dorpat 1840-52).

6 Dr. G. J. Schultz-Bertram began to speak enthusiastically of the great value

of this legacy.

6 Morgenrot und Abendrot (Dorpat 1844).

7 First published in the proceedings of the Estonian Learned Society.

8 Ehstnische Volkslieder I-III (Dorpat 1850-52), edited by H. NEUS.

9 Ehstlandische Litterärische Gesellschaft, founded in 1842 in Tallinn.




to the dissemination of the essence of Estonian national culture. Another volume of myths and songs (1) found a publisher no less eminent than the Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg. The volumes of fairy-tales (2) were published by the Finnish Literary Society.

It also must be added that Kreutzwald through his correspondence had wide contacts with many scholars (3), thereby fostering interest in the national culture of the Estonians.

1 Mythische und magische Lieder der Ehsten (St. Petersburg 1854), edited by H.

Neus and Kreutzwald.

2 Eesti rahva ennemuistsed jutud I-II (Helsinki 1860-64).

3 Through his scholarly work Kreutzwald came in contact with many scholars

abroad. His communication lines with the representatives of the Finnish literary

culture were very close. His connections with Prof. W. Schott in Berlin deserve to

be singled out.







Very few Estonians living in the land had accepted the Russian orthodox faith (1). Some seemed to have found an appeal in the fact the Russian workmen were free men. However, throughout the centuries, only a small number of Estonians found themselves ready to embrace the faith of the Russians (2).

Symptoms soon began to appear which spoke very clearly of the fact that in St. Petersburg the expansion of the power of the orthodox state church had been put on the agenda. The most telling fact appeared in connection with considerations of liquidating the department of theology at the University of Tartu and to degrade this institution to a second-rate school (3). Only vigorous resistance was able to salvage the situation (4).

1 See vol. II, p. 121ff.

2 At the eastern boundary several Russian congregations were established which

included Estonians who had escaped to the Russian side of Peipsi and had

embraced the orthodox faith. The parish of Tailova was founded in the last quarter

of the 17th century. In 1752 the orthodox parish in Räpina was established. In

1759 the church of Värska was founded on the territory of the monastery of Petseri.

In this parish half of the members could not speak Russian. Priests of Estonian

origin held office.

3 According to this plan a seminary for the preparation of the clergy for the

Lutheran church was foreseen in Tallinn or in St. Petersburg. J. FREY, Die

Theologische Fakultät der kaiserlichen Universität Dorpat-Jurjew 1802-1903

(Reval 1905).

4 Cf. A. BUCHHOLTZ, Deutsch-protestantische Kämpfe in den Baltischen

Provinzen Russlands (Leipzig 1888), 180.




When the misery of the people began to grow this situation was estimated at St. Petersburg as a promising possibility for the realization of the aspirations of the Russian orthodox church. The symptoms of these feelings and hopes were quickly manifested in the year 1836 when an orthodox bishop's seat was established in Riga. The first bishop was Irinarch (1). The official explanation of this act, to fight against the expanding influence of the dissident old-believers in the orthodox church, concealed the truth. The stage was definitely set for action at a suitable moment.



Nor was the moment long in arriving. In 1841 when the extreme conditions were worsened by a disastrous harvest, the peasants were brought to despair.

Rumors were set in motion among the population of the Latvian part of the province of Livonia that the government was really willing to help the peasants, was prepared to give them land in other parts of the Russian empire on most favorable conditions. It has not been definitely established how these rumors originated, but after they were in circulation no power was able to halt them.

The office of the governor-general was held at that time by Baron K. M. von der Pahlen, a Baltic German. The first peasant delegations were received but they were told categorically that the rumors are wrong. Deep disappointment could not stop others from trying. When the peasant delegations continued to swarm to Riga, the authorities changed their tone. Still the delegations did not subside. Instead of visiting the governor-general's office, the peasants were therefore directed to see the orthodox bishop of Riga, Irinarch. How he appeared on the scene has not been clarified entirely. Some of the previous petitioners had met the bishop - quite by 'chance', it would seem. This 'chance' became a turn in the course of affairs. The bishop received and kindly listened to what they had to say and took their names (2). The peasants who left the bishop's house returned home under the impression that they would get the land.

1 Русский биографический словарь VIII (St. Petersburg 1897), p. 131f.

2 H. KRUUS, Talurahva käärimine Louna-Eestis XIX sajandi 40-dail aastail. Mit

einem Referat: die Bauernbewegung in Südestland in den 40-er Jahren des XIX

Jahrhunderts (Tartu 1930), p. 73f.




The government agencies were taken by surprise and did not discover these activities before the process was well advanced. A hurried investigation exposed things which were very alarming to the ruling class. The petitions of the peasants prepared in the bishop's house brought to the fore the truth which could not be expressed publicly: first, life under the yoke of the landlords had become unbearable due to limitless exploitation via arbitrary taxes, impositions, works and compulsory services which were against the law; secondly, the poor peasants found no other help in their terrible plight and so went secretly to the town to complain about their fate to the orthodox bishop, and to request his support in using the emperor's permission to escape their oppressors by leaving the country for land in Russia.

Other circumstances were also brought to light in the course of the investigation. The orthodox prelate had decided to employ the inhuman conditions of tormented peasants in the interests of the expansion of his ecclesiastical policy (1). In connection with this, his procedure came out. When the question of religion was brought up by his assistants, the peasants resisted long and tenaciously the thought of changing their religion. However, after they were repeatedly and categorically told that the bishop would take no step without this prerequisite, the peasants signed petitions including this stipulation.

The news about successful visits in the bishop's house spread in Livonia like wildfire. Peasants flocked to Riga to see the bishop who continued to receive them. Soon the peasants in South Estonia joined the stream of Latvians, travelling to Riga. Government officials acted quickly to hinder such activities, especially since the peasants started looking at Bishop Irinarch as their friend and the governorgeneral and his officials as their enemies. About a week later, a new act in the drama began. A large group of Estonian peasants was arrested in Riga (2). More and more were arrested, nevertheless the movement spread even wider, seizing hold of other counties in South Estonia. Increasing numbers of tormented human beings felt the urge to escape, carrying with them the same complaints about the scarcity of food, reckless arbitrariness and inhuman treatment at the hands of landlords. This movement was increased if anything by official denials.

1 This he himself admitted in his letter addressed to the archbishop of Pskov,

written on August 6, 1841. Cf. J. SAMARIN, Окраины Россий III (Berlin 1871),

p. 87 f.

2 They were from Mõniste and Rogosi.




Denials from the pulpits by pastors - whose indifference to the sufferings of the people had become notorious - had just the opposite effect, and threw oil on the fire. The peasants were determined to use this avenue to give expression to the unbearable life they had had to live even though they had to experience gruesome ordeals: their heads were shorn, they were thrown into chains, they were dragged into the villages where they were publicly scourged. The communities were invariably ordered to be present for these actions of brutal punishment.

The squires, through their representatives, had from the start taken the categoric stand that severe and extreme measures should be used to force the peasants to their knees. Now they began to demand military contingents to be dispatched to cover the communities. These measures, of course, but increased the excitement bringing it close to explosion (1). Moreover, the landlords were very eager to place the additional costs of maintaining the troops upon the peasants thus aggravating the desperate economic situation still more. Under such conditions, conflicts with the peasants were unavoidable. In several places, defiance of the landlords took place (2). For this, the peasants had to pay very heavily - they were brutally scourged (3), imprisoned and deported to Siberia. However, not all the landlords were satisfied, they in their limitless brutality desired still heavier inflictions. Hand in hand with these actions directed by the landlords and the governor-general, fire was turned against Bishop Irinarch. Finally, permission was obtained from St. Petersburg for Irinarch's expulsion.

1 The peasants protested that they were not guilty of any criminal act yet werebeing pursued and chased by the soldiers and being arrested by them; in such anunbearable situation they expressed their wish to leave the country according tothe permission of the czar.

2 What happened on the estate of Pühajärve in December of 1841 serves as an

illustration. The squires set the stage for the festival of blood in the following way.

Peasants from Tartumaa, Võrumaa and Viljandimaa were ordered to attend this

gruesome spectacle; 3 large funeral carriages were located in the place of punish-

ment where the victims could be bound so that the scourging could be carried out

in any case even when the victims could not march any longer; also 2 carriages

were set ready in order to carry away the dead and victims who had been beaten

unconscious. P. EICHENFELD, 'Pühajärve sõjad', in: Eesti Kirjandus (1909),

p. 468. Cf. H. KRUUS, Pühajärve sõda 1841 (Tartu 1927).

3 In Pühajärve, 30 persons were scourged so that every one received 500 strokes.

The sentenced peasants, their upper body naked, had to march between the two

opposite rows of 500 soldiers each of whom gave everyone a stroke 'so that pieces

of skin and flesh dangled from the sides and backs of the victims', EICHENFELD,




However, the joy of the landlords was of short duration. The hopes of these desperate human beings were directed towards the archbishop's house in Pskov. The only change was that the scene of the arrests and vexations of the peasants shifted eastward. Heavy punishments followed. Large scale mass scourgings were staged and the representatives of other areas were ordered to attend the bloody theaters (1). Court-martials were set up and the severest punishments meted out.

Of the ruling class in the country, no segment was able to steer the country out of this situation. The men in the administration from the smaller agencies to the governor-general were Baltic Germans who wanted to prosecute all these affairs in such a way that the truth would not come out. The reasons for the unrest had to be kept quiet. They were particularly anxious to interpret the crisis as a result of the dearth - an explanation repeated up to this day - and of the agitation, spies and propaganda of the orthodox priests. The complete distrust of officialdom on the part of the peasants is quite understandable. The same distrust was extended to the pastors who normally sided with the landlords as well. Their interests and front remained common, regardless of some friction about the methods to perpetuate the rule over the people: the landlords put the blame for the crisis on the pastors (2), and the pastors struck back (3).

Then something happened which was to initiate an important development: extraordinary government emissaries were sent from St.

'Pühajärve sojad', p. 469. After this punishment some of the victims were sentto Siberia for hard labor.1 These took place in 1842 in Tartu, Tartumaa and Võrumaa; these acts of

punishment took place in the same manner as in Pühajärve in 1841. Later they

were carried out in Pärnu and Saaremaa.2 The squires began to seek culprits among the pastors charging that they hadnot fulfilled their pastoral duties, that they had lost the confidence of the people,

so necessary for the ruling class, and that they had persecuted the Herrnhuters.

Cf. Ms. The Chronicle of the Church of Laiuse 1841, Laiuse.

3 Some voices which were raised by the synod in Valk regarding the inhuman

conditions of the life of the peasants were certainly motivated by considerations

for revenge rather than by concern for human beings. This action must be

understood as a demarche against the squires. A memorial to this effect was

presented by the synod to the knighthood, Ms. Acta über die Bauernunruhen I,

p. 37ff., Archives of the Knighthood of Livonia, the Latvian State Archives, Riga.

The most important part of this document which gives a realistic picture of the

conditions of life of the peasants has been omitted and only the colorless remainder

has been published by v. STERNBERG, Die Livländischen Bekehrungen, p. 233ff.



Petersburg to inspect the situation on the spot. The squires were alarmed over the prospect of having outside observers look at things hidden from the light. Their fears in fact were justified. These emissaries did learn about the unbearable conditions of life (1), the unhindered wild lawlessness (2). They also heard the indignation expressed against the orthodox priests and the bishop when the people learned the truth (3). They listened to the demands to free the imprisoned peasants whose only guilt was that they had dared to complain about inhuman treatment. The reports sent to St. Petersburg were the first true ones. They brought about a deeper realization in the highest places regarding the root of the problems.

The first act in the play of power politics was a fiasco for the state church. It found out that the peasants - whom the Lutheran clergy had neglected by their incredible indifference since it belonged to the same inhuman ruling class and had allowed the Lutheran church to be used as an institution of the regime - were not easy prey for the Russian ecclesiastical aspirations. Bishop Irinarch claimed that 3,000 Latvians and Estonians had registered for entrance into the Russian state church. But this was mere boasting. It is very questionable whether anybody underwent orthodox confirmation during that period. Throughout this deep crisis, the peasants had clung to the evangelical faith and to the traditions of the West.



The man upon whom high hopes were laid for the following epoch in the course of these events was Bishop Filaret (4). In fact, his atti-

1 Almost everywhere the declaration was the same and it was presented clearly

and firmly: 'Yes, we want to obey God and the government but not the squires;

we wish to be under the government but not under the Germans; we want to be

obedient but slavery is unbearable; we die in hunger and we are being killed'. Cf.

Ms. Acta über die Bauernunruhen I, p. 154ff., the Archives of the Knighthood of

Livonia, the Latvian State Archives, Riga. The peasants also vehemently demanded

the release of the imprisoned innocent peasants.

2 In answer to the question why they do not seek justice from the judicial institutions,

they declared that the judges were Germans through whom the ruling class

perpetuated lawlessness.

3 They also demanded an explanation why the priests and also the bishop who had

explained the opposite did not become liable.

4 Русский биографический словарь XXI (St. Petersburg 1901), p. 79ff.




tude was initially very limited However, he became bolder when he noticed a change of the wind in St. Petersburg. He knew what was brewing there. He also knew that it paid to be patient.

In the meantime, the decision had ripened in the highest places that the miserable conditions and the desperate situation of the peasants should be exploited for the expansion of Russian influence under the cover of the ecclesiastical cloak. There were clear symptoms that something was up. Language instruction for future priests among the Estonians and Latvians was initiated (1) and the most necessary literature was prepared.

The time selected for the expansion of russification was very suitable from the angle of the kind of policy which was designed to exploit misery, and in this respect the ruling class had completed a thorough preparation. Life under limitless exploitation had become even more unbearable. The failure of the crops in 1844, even more terrible than that of 1841, from which the peasants could not recover, was the last straw needed to break human endurance.

The sentiments which had swept through the peasants some years ago, flared up again in 1845. But this time under different conditions. How well the Baltic German gentry had prepared the ground for this, has already been mentioned (2). The Lutheran church also played a role in all this (3). For its reckless suppression of the Herrnhut movement, it had to pay very heavily. It thus played into the russification policy of the orthodox strategists, not only by increasing the inner crisis into which the people had been thrown and aggravating it by new and senseless conflicts, but also by giving a direct impulse for an event that initiated the mass conversion. The machinations of the church, in the interest of power politics against the Herrnhut movement, led the brethren in Latvia under their outstanding leader, D. Balodis to the decision under such circumstances not to capitulate, despite just that recommendation by the Herrnhut high command in Germany (4). They decided to continue their life apart from the controls of the

1 In 1842-43 at the clerical seminary in Pskov, Estonian and Latvian languages

were put on the curriculum.

2 See page 163ff.

3 Its subservient role vis a vis the ruling class was so striking that it was noticed

immediately by visitors from abroad. Cf. A. BUDDEUS, Halbrussisches I (Leipzig

1847), p. 46f.; II, p. 56f.

4 The brethren thereby refused to comply with the order of Deacon Neumann.




pastors. When they turned to the pastors for help to find a place for their school and gatherings, they were refused. When they found a secret place (1) and were reported by a pastor to the police (2), they felt no other way was left them but to turn to Bishop Filaret (3). Nothing was more welcome to him; he had been waiting for opportunities. Of course, the despair of others served his own purposes and his own advance. No doubt, he rejoiced that they were brought to such a state that they wanted to enter the orthodox church (4). In fact, the step of Balodis had a sensational effect. It ignited an explosion which opened a mass conversion to the ' Russian creed ' (5).

Emboldened by this development, the example of Balodis, and using the new Latvian congregation as an instrument for the expansion machinery, the action was set in motion. Its waves quickly reached South Estonia. By May, 1845, the consistory was complaining that among the Herrnhuters in Tartumaa the view was spreading that they would find protection against oppressive pastors under the wings of the Russian orthodox church. Bishop Filaret who had first played the role of an attentive listener now changed his role. He did not allow himself to be instructed any longer. A crisp resolution from the czar caught the ruling class by surprise: no hindrance was to be put in the way of those who wished to enter the Russian orthodox church. A movement was set in motion which could not be stopped. In his letter sent to his friend in Moscow he jubilated: 'The Russian begins to conquer new space' (6). As a result of the maneuvers (7) put into action by the Russian orthodox church up to 65,000s had turned their

1 A. BUCHHOLTZ, Fünfzig Jahre russischer Verwaltung in den Baltischen

Provinzen (Leipzig 1883), p. 82, 87.

2 Before Christmas 1844. Cf. G. C. A. VON HARLESS, Geschichtsbilder aus

der lutherischen Kirche Livlands vom Jahre 1845 an (Leipzig 1869), p. 73.

3 Their request was for aid to help them obtain a church for their services. They

did not think of changing their religion.

4 He made a condition for his assistance, namely acceptance of the orthodox


5 Cf. A. BILMANIS, The Church in Latvia (New York 1945), p. 16.

6 Pyccкий Биографический Словарь XXI, p. 80.

7 Concerning the rude means, force and violence, see also W. KAHLE, Die

Begegnung des baltischen Protestantismus mit der russisch-orthodoxen Kirche

(Leiden-Köln 1959) = OekSt II, p. 107ff.

8 In Latvia 100,000 turned their backs upon the Lutheran church, A. SPEKKE,

History of Latvia (Stockholm 1951), p. 292.




backs upon the Lutheran church and had been listed in the registers of the Russian orthodox church (1) Thus 46 orthodox parishes were founded. This was much less than had been expected from such a large scale action and from the limitless exploitation of nameless misery by means of material allurement - but it was enough to tear the peasant communities asunder on the level of their religion and to add new troubles to people who already had more than enough to bear.

It is entirely wrong to argue that the agitation of the orthodox priests was able to accomplish this end (2) and that this was a mass psychosis (3) Of this, they were simply not capable. The talk of the work of secret agents and emissaries (4) is equally mere phantasy. The reason was simple: this suffering was under conditions so inhuman that the limits of human endurance were far exceeded and for too long. Something had to happen to break open this tightly closed system of oppression which has had only very few parallels in history.

Of course, it is true that rumors were in circulation to the effect that those who would accept the orthodox faith would find relief from their appalling conditions, perhaps even the gift of land. That these fell upon fertile soil among the vexed, oppressed and hungry peasants, is equally true. However, those who dwell upon this are satisfied with an explanation much too simple for a far more complex situation. The main factor was, and remains, the painfully nagging urge to find ways of escaping (5) the grip of the oppressors (6) and to be rid of them (7).

1 The extent of the movement varied in the various counties. The deepest

penetration occurred in Pärnumaa, 27.7%, and in Saaremaa, 29,8%.

2 WITTRAM, Baltische Geschichte, p. 185.

3 Or caused by the corvee, G. KROEGER, 'Die evangelisch-lutherische Landeskirche

und das griechisch-orthodoxe Staatskirchentum in den Ostseeprovinzen 1840-1918',

in WITTRAM, Baltische Kirchengeschichte, p. 183.

4 v. SCHBENCK, Baltische Kirchengeschichte, p. 62, 64". Also R. STUPPERICH

Motive und Massnahmen in der livländischen Bauernbewegung der Jahre 1845-47'

in: Kyrios IV (1939), p. 44.

5 This is reflected by the judgement of a peasant: 'I know, if the German landlords

would have commanded us to enter the orthodox faith, no one would have

gone', H. G. VON JANNAU, Vene õigeusu tulekust Lõuna Eestis 1845-46 a. (Tartu

1927), p. 68.

6 The peasants in Kambja declared to the landlord: 'Whatever our religion, and

if unfortunately we do not get land at all, at least we get rid of the German lords',

KRUUS, Talurahva käärimine, p. 200.

7 Fählmann who was in constant contact with the peasants summarizes the daily

talks all of a stereotype character: 'Our misery has reached the top, all see




The hopes which arise when one is about to perish, the grasping of any straw for help also awakened in the desperate the deep conviction that there must be other human beings who have a scintilla of compassion.

They also were prey to some misconceptions which did not permit them clearly to see the consequences of the registration with the priests - the more so since a false analogy was easily applied to this shift (1).It was certainly very difficult to take this step. The sources show this clearly. People were thrown into terrible inner crises. But what took place was a desperate protest against the whole inhuman social, economic and political order.Soon the people discovered that they had been thrown into a crisis, the agony of which had no end. Their disappointments were very bitter. It was painful for them to discover that there was no spiritual care or educational concern whatsoever in the Russian church. From the beginning the Russian church was morally and spiritually in very poor condition and the handicaps of the clergy were very serious (2). Furthermore, the hope of the people that now they would have nothing to do with the German pastors collapsed (3). Many retracted and left the Russian fold, desiring communion and baptism for their children according to the Lutheran rite. However, this created a most serious situation and a conflict with the law ensued. The members of the orthodox church were bound to the church (4) for life - even if they were more or less fraudulently converted. Every evangelical pastor who was willing to give communion to those who left the orthodox church or baptize their children exposed himself to criminal prosecution.

that, but no one helps; and when we again want to complain seriously, then

we are called by abusive language rebels, scourged to the point of bleeding

and in hundreds deported to Siberia; our Protestant fellow-men do this to us;

whether the new belief brings us some gain, we do not know; but it rescues

us at least partly from the claws of the "scalpers'". So in his letter sent to

Kreutzwald, September 27, 1845.1 Membership in the Herrnhut movement did not mean abandonment of the

Lutheran church.

2 The priests could speak only through translators and those priests who came

from the seminary in Riga possessed a very low level of education.

3 According to the decree issued by the government, they were declared tree

from their ecclesiastical obligations, but not free from the duties and obligations

which the German pastors demanded as their landlords.

4 Children of mixed marriages could be baptized and educated only by the

orthodox; the wedding services of mixed marriages belonged to the prerogatives

of the priests; and the orthodox church alone had the right to make proselytes.




The situation grew very tense. Accusations that people were deceived and conversions were made by fraudulent means heated the sentiments to the extreme. The situation became so grave that the czar was compelled to order an investigation. What his emissary (1) heard in the districts of Pärnu and Viljandi where he met with thousands of peasants was so shocking that he decided he had had enough and abandoned the plan to continue his mission in other areas. What was shocking in the attitude of the people (2) and in the scandalous machinations of his church (3) he has left behind in his report.

This time these unworthy quarrels over the reluctant souls who had been allured to the Russian fold by fraud and swindle ended in 1865 with a secret decree which permitted the wedding of mixed couples without the 'reversal', i.e. the written promise that all the children be baptized and educated in the Russian church.

However, this was not the end. Since this decree was not published in the corpus of the laws, the Russian priests who did not care much for it launched accusations and lawsuits against the pastors (4) and caused trouble to those who did not want to stay in their fold. Chaotic conditions mounted very high. The whole situation became so scandalous that the noise was heard abroad, causing a furor in Western Europe and America. Fraudulent means on the part of the Russians were at that time detestable in Western civilization (5). At that time the ecclesiastical organizations also had a sense of dignity, and felt that they must act on behalf of their suffering and persecuted fellow chris-

1 General Count A. Bobrinski.

2 'One circumstance has made a deep impression upon me - that amongst all

these peasants who presented themselves, not a single one made a request that did

not concern the confession of faith.' His report was made on April 18, 1864. See

the translation of this portion in: Evangelical Christendom (London 1871), p. 7f.

3 '... the fact that the violence exercised against conscience and the official

fraud known to everybody should be indissolubly chained to the idea of Russian

orthodoxy,' ibid., p. 8.

4 Not less than 93 Lutheran pastors out of 105 in Livonia had already been

committed for trial. Cf. Deutsch-protestantische Kämpfe (Leipzig 1888), p. 353f.

5 The organ of the World Evangelical Alliance wrote: 'Promises of material

advances were held out - freedom of taxes, even exemption from military

organization, and other favors - towards all who would conform to the dominant

faith; and these bribes, which we may say, in passing, were not, and were never to

be filled . . .', Evangelical Christendom, p. 6.




tians. The Council of the Evangelical Alliance acted vigorously (1) and intervened with a large representation of churches from many countries on behalf of their fellow believers (2). Such a large representation so impressed Czar Alexander II that he, fearing an international scandal, gave the order to cease persecution and reprisals against those who wanted to leave the Russian fold (3). Thus a kind of armistice took place in 1874 (4) as a temporary settlement (5), but the law was by no means changed - it remained as it was.

This situation was used by those who had been awaiting an opportunity to escape. Thousands of young souls were lost to the Russian church via the route of evangelical baptism, confirmation (6) and return to the evangelical confession (7).

1 Cf. A. TORMA, 'Tribulations of the Lutheran Church in the xix Century', in:

Estonia Christiana, p. 208ff.

2 In July 1871, this large delegation consisting of 40 members, headed by Bishop

McIlvaine of Ohio, went to Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance where the czar

was then staying.

3 Cf. v. SCHRENCK, Baltische Kirchengeschichte, p. 103f.

4 By a special decree the czar ordered the laying aside of all these lawsuits

5 As such, it was only an act of pardon and leniency; in the eyes of the Russian

state church the pastors were looked upon as pardoned felons.

6 Between 1865 and 1885 nearly 7,000 children of orthodox parents were

baptized in the Lutheran churches and more than 5,000 youth of the orthodox

church were confirmed in the evangelical rite.

7 In Livonia nearly 40,000 came back to the Lutheran church. Cf. v. TOBIEN

Livländische Ritterschaft, p. 191ff., 197ff.




Since the Estonians carried the hard struggle to the end, effecting the transformation of the country, they created conditions which enabled them to develop life according to their needs.

Further development looks like an undulation of an extraordinary excitement which embraced every area of cultural life and creative work (1). It manifests the enterprising mind of the people and the ability to work hard and successfully, even in an atmosphere of limited freedom in order to strive towards higher qualities of life. The inner strength of the nation brought forth spiritual, cultural and intellectual values of the greatest significance.


The indicator of the vitality of the energies released can be seen in the exuberant growth of social and cultural activities. The founding of economic, educational and cultural societies is comparable to a chain-reaction spreading all over the country.

Societies of the farmers which had begun to blossom not only fostered better farming methods, agriculture and stock raising, but they also contributed in many ways to the enlivening of social and cultural activities. Among them the society in Tartu, founded by Jannsen and those founded by C. R. Jakobson deserve special mention. They all had a vital role in the process of transformation which the Estonians had taken into their own hands.

1 H. ROSENTHAL, Kulturbestrebungen des estnischen Volkes während eines

Menschenalters (1869-1900) (Reval 1912).



Besides the associations and societies created for fostering education and schooling and for the furtherance of intellectual culture, singing and theatrical art (1) stood out especially. Among them (2) 'Vanemuine' in Tartu (3) founded by Jannsen was most eminent due to its dynamics, initiative and its ability to engage in its activities all local eminent Estonian figures. It became a hotbed (4) for several great national cultural enterprises (5). A network of choruses and brass instrument orchestras for the cultivation of religious and worldly music was spread throughout the country, particularly in South Estonia. The musical culture was stimulated by national composers (6) whose achievements reached the level of international recognition (7).

The chief promoter and instigator of national cultural thought and work was Jakob Hurt (8) who has given an immense stimulus for cultural work in every sector. In him extraordinary dynamics came to the fore. He was not a popular leader of the people in an ordinary sense, but a reticent and well balanced scholar, a man with extraordinary gifts, enormous energy and an extraordinary sense of responsibility and justice. Poised and great in his simplicity, he took his duties most conscientiously. His person and work represent the typical Estonian genius which asserts itself not by power but by creative work. In the national ideology, which he backed forcefully through his deeds, he placed the emphasis on the cultural sector. He devoted his full energy towards raising the people to a higher moral and intellectual level, levering education and spiritual and ethical faculties. He saw in this the way of development towards a modern and permanent cultural nation which would claim its place among other nations. He instigated constructive upbuilding

and stimulated creative work on the part of the masses. By his example of being the tireless leader of the great national enterprises as well as in endeavors which made his work known internationally he gave a

1 Cf. A. ADSON, Teaatriraamat (Stockholm 1958), p. 41ff.2 'Estonia' in Tallinn (1865), 'Koit' in Viljandi (1869), 'Lootus' in Tallinn (1877),

'Endla' in Pärnu (1878).

3 Founded in 1865.

4 Through the performance of a play by Koidula in 1870 the foundation was

laid for the Estonian theater.

5 About the song festivals, see page 208f.

6 The most prominent are K. A. Hermann and F. A. Säbelmann.

7 R. Tobias later became professor of music in the Academy of Music in Berlin.

8 Born in 1839 in Põlva. Since 1872 pastor in Otepää and since 1880 of the

Estonian congregation of Jaani in St. Petersburg. He died on January 20, 1906.




vivid example to the countless ones who were kindled by him and who followed this great spirit and carried it into the life of the societies in villages, districts and towns. In times of losses and catastrophes under the terror of russification (1) it became manifest how right Hurt was.

In the person of Carl Robert Jakobson (2) another leader appeared on the scene who was able to give other stimuli for cultural pursuit, though in a different way (3). Strong was the impetus which he gave for the furtherance of the activities of the societies for farmers - he himself was also a farmer (4) and an author of works on agriculture (5) and domestic management - and to the educational organizations and institutions - he himself was an author of educational books. For spreading his influence he needed an organ. Already in St. Petersburg he had made attempts to establish a newspaper, but the vigilance of the Baltic Germans brought them to nought. After he finally succeeded and his Sakala appeared (6), it electrified the people over night. Jakobson published his Sakala in Viljandi, a great center of national activity. He fought for educational, social and economic reforms and put his newspaper into the service of education, of widening the social-political horizon and of stimulating greater self-consciousness and initiative in the active fight to regain the rights in the communal administration in the communities against the control of the Baltic Germans in education, communal life and the church. For this he fought with passion (7). In this the response of the people was enthusiastic. In fact he carried his audience hypnotically.Besides his manifold cultural activities his main aim was social-political, an aim which was very bold at that time. His political ide-

1 See page 241ff.

2 Born in 1841 in Torma. First he was active as a teacher and sexton, but conflicts

with the squire compelled him to leave the country and go to St Petersburg. Feeling

a call for social-political activity, he returned in 1871. Sudden death on March 19,

1882 finished his life too early.

3 A. JÜRGENSTEIN, Carl Robert Jakobsoni elu ja töö (Tartu 1925)4 After his return he bought a farm in the forests of Vändra, Pärnumaa where he

developed an exemplary farmstead.

5 His book on agricultural methods was epochmaking in the development of

modern rural economy.

6 Sakala began to appear in 1878.7 These basic social and economic demands he formulated in the memorandum

presented to Czar Alexander III in 1881 by the great Estonian delegation of which

Jakobson was a member.




ology demanded absolute equality for the Estonians with the Baltic Germans with all its consequences.

The constellation was extremely difficult for his political fight (1) and therefore his activities in this respect were not free from negative results (2).

The genius of the nation ever invented new forms and means to foster cultural values. An extraordinary example of this can be seen in the song festivals (3). The conception was from Jannsen who also had founded the musical and theatrical society 'Vanemuine' which now became instrumental in organizing the first song festival in 1869 in Tartu. Such a large scale enterprise became possible only because of the work carried out by societies founded to foster the culture and art of singing (4). The organizers had to surmount manifold difficulties and show tactical inventiveness in order to accomplish such national objectives - which were under the ever suspicious and vigilant eyes of civil and ecclesiastical rulers. Of course, song festivals are phenomena which ordinarily belong to the history of music (5), demonstrating musical abilities and the level of esthetic experience. However, the function of the song festival was meant to be more far-reaching, as manifested by the festal speech by Hurt in which he unfolded the cultural program (6) which became the basis for his life's work. He urged the people to still greater sacrifices and strongly emphasized responsibility, but his message was carried by a warm and firm belief in the strength of the

1 As a politician he realized that for his radical program he needed political

force, and this he could not see except in the Russians, particularly the Slavophils

who attacked the privileges of the Baltic Germans. By this he weakened vigilance

regarding another enemy of the nation.

2 Another unhappy result of his politics was that it brought division among the

people and this began to manifest itself in all the organizations.

3 Cf. A. TASKA, 'Von der Entstehung und Ausbreitung der Idee kultureller

Traditionen durch die estnischen Sängerfeste", in: Jahrbuch des baltischen

Deutschtums XVI (1969), p. 50ff.

4 Smaller song festivals had taken place in several places. That in Anseküla,

Saaremaa, in 1863 made a deep impression. Ct. M. KÖRBER, Oesel einst und

jetzt (Arensburg 1899). Also in Jõhvi, Virumaa, in 1865.

5 J. AAVIK, Eesti muusika ajalugu II (Stockholm 1969), p. 40ff.

6 He took a strong stand against germanization. He justified the cultural and

educational needs of the Estonians. He also demanded higher schools with the

Estonian language.




Estonians and their rights as expressed by his manly and rustic words (1). Thus the festival was animated by patriotic fervor and was to engender enthusiasm for all things national throughout the country. This, indeed, penetrated into the remotest hamlets, drawing them into the swell of cultural pursuit and uniting the Estonians in the endeavors for self-assertion.

None of the organizers of the first song festival could have had the slightest inkling that this event could become one of the strongest national traditions in the history of culture among the Estonian people. The second festival took place ten years later also in Tartu but on a larger scale. The number of participants grew greatly from festival to festival. A tradition was initiated which in the life of the nation assumed an important function in the years to come, solemnizing the cultural and national pursuit in unison.

This leads the treatment to other undertakings on the national scale. The need for a semi-scholarly society had been felt very acutely. It was a great day when the idea for an organization of the Estonian writers and other educated people, which had been planned by Kreutzwald, Hurt, Köler and Jakobson, was materialized in 1871 as the Society of Estonian Writers (2). Its program was formulated by Hurt, who became its president: its aim was to cultivate various aspects of the Estonian culture. It soon developed into a kind of clearing house for endeavors in the service of Estonian intellectual culture (3). As such a center it became a locus in which all the questions of education and culture were deliberated. Hopes to publish scholarly and literary works (4) did not materialize because of the scarcity of funds, but the society still offered a service in so far as that it set up criteria in order to foster the best in the book market. Its greatest accomplishment lay in the large-scale action of gathering the folkloristic traditions. This was organized by Hurt who gained a favorable response from wide circles of the nation. Further, it is the merit of the society to have helped to accelerate the

1 'The Estonians are not flies who are born today and die tomorrow but an

ancient and tenacious stock of people who have lived in the world long ago and

shall remain long after us.'

2 Eesti Kirjameeste Selts.

3 F. TUGLAS, Eesti Kirjameeste Selts (Tartu 1932).

4 The society published an annual by which contact was kept with the members

all over the country.




victory of the new orthography over the old one, thus bringing a long battle to its end (1).

Another event which belongs to the organizations of nationwide importance is the gathering of the Estonian academic youth into the academic Society of the Estonian Students. An association of the academic students was founded in 1870 which grew into this society inspite of the persecution under the Baltic German terror regime in the university (2). The society (3) became a hearth which gathered around it also the Estonian intelligentsia. All this provided a healthy contact between the academic youth and leaders of national cultural life. Due to the idealistic atmosphere dedicated to the service of the nation the role of the society in the life of the nation has been very great.

Also the project to establish the Estonian Alexander School (4) belongs to these most important undertakings on nationwide scale.

As this survey shows the genius of the Estonian people worked in concentrated efforts, strengthening and deepening every segment of cultural life. All this was possible on such a large scale since the resurging strength lay among the broad masses of the people themselves, particularly among the ever increasing stratum of independent proprietors of the farmsteads. In this the cadre of intelligentsia in the country, teachers and schoolmasters of the communal and district schools had a very important share in the leadership.



The development in education grew rapidly-it became a flourishing advance. Indeed, this flowering epoch in education constitutes a beautiful page in the annals of the history of the spiritual culture.

1 Conflicts between the moderate and radical streams did harm to constructive

tasks of the Society. Hurt left the office of the presidency.

2 One example is illustrative. When A. Mõtus, an eminent member and chairman,

for the first time appeared with the hat of the fraternity publicly on the streets,

Baltic German students rushed at him, jumped on him, pulled off his hat and fell

into a delirium in trampling on it. University authorities threw him out of the

university, expelled him from the town, and he was compelled to leave his home-


3 J. KÕPP, Eesti Uliopilaste Seltsi ajalugu I: 1870-1900 (Tartu 1925; 2.1955);

H. LENDER, Eesti Üliopilaste Selts 1870-1905: biograafilisi andmeid (New York


4 See page 213ff.




First some words about the source of the advance in the schooling and education of the people. The cadre of teachers and sextons in whose hearts there was a yearning for education, responded readily to the inspiration and instigation by the leadership. Just how eagerly they grasped the new opportunities for educating the people is visible in the amplitude of their horizon and in the scope of their activities. Among them are names which do not appear only in the history of public education.

Seminaries to prepare teachers for the valla schools were founded in Kuuda (1) and Passlepa (2) in North Estonia, in Kaarma (3) in Saaremaa and in Tartu (4). The impact of every graduating class made itself felt.

Advancement is manifested also in new and better schoolbooks and materials which were prepared (5) in order to keep pace with higher demands.

For the enlivening of the educational work, the institution of visitations was extremely important. In South Estonia these visitations were carried out by the revisors of the district school administration (6) and the educational authority (7) of the upper school administration. In North Estonia visitations were laid upon the inspectors of the county school commission and its clerical members (8). This institution played a very significant role in the success of the education measure introduced (9). These became important events for the children and parents teachers and visitators as well as for the congregations themselves.

As the peasants improved their economic situation, they were ready to do more for the schools. This occurred in both South Estonia (10)

1 Founded in 1856.

2 This was foreseen for the Swedish schools.

3 Founded in 1871.

4 Founded in 1873.

5 In this respect the greatest merits belong to C. R. Jakobson. Schoolbooks

written by him, aimed at reforms in schools, due to their freshness mark a

new epoch. They found very warm reception. Here also the progress was

hampered by obstruction. The Baltic German rulers tried to curtail the spread

of these schoolbooks. They managed to accomplish this in North Estonia.

6 The first was Carl Ulmann, who became known as a 'tireless visitator'.

7 Cf. Instruction für die Livländischen Landschulen ev. Lutherischer

Confession (Riga 1874)

8 Cf. 'Anleitung für die von den Kreis-Schulcommissionen vorzunehmenden

Revisionen , in : Eingegangene Sachen der Oberschulcommission (Reval


9 SILD, Kirikuvisitatsioonid, Mit einem Referat: Die Kirchenvisitationen,

p. 106ff

10 In Livonia in 1886 there were 974 valla schools and 123 parochial schools.




and North Estonia (1); only Saaremaa lagged behind (2) since nearly a third of the population had entered the orthodox church (3). Before the end of the century educational endeavors had reached such a high level (4) in the nation that the number of analphabets became a negligible factor (5).

Once the elementary school had been brought to such a high level, the goals in educational pursuit were set still higher. These were efforts which due to their scope deserve a separate treatment (6).

In the towns, the situation again was different. Here the ruling class had become the more vigilant and was doing everything possible to keep the indigenous people away from the higher schools. Through powerful members in the capital, they exercised great influence upon the Russian government. Their concern in this question can be seen in the directive that was issued by the government: the ministry of education was to be alert that children of the peasants do not intrude upon gymnasiums without permission from the gentry.

Through superhuman efforts also these difficulties were overcome by Hugo H. F. Treffner. Since he was not permitted to enter the ministry in the homeland, he devoted his talents to the field of higher education. After wrestling with very great difficulties and all kinds of obstacles his will prevailed and he founded his private gymnasium (7). With personal sacrifice and unremitting energy he built up the institution (8) which helped many Estonian students to achieve secondary and higher education. Its contribution to the pursuit for higher education by becoming a hotbed for forces which were fostered and cultivated within its walls enriched deeply the life of the nation to an immesurable degree. Treffner by his gymnasium has written a special chapter in the history of the culture of Estonia.

1 In North Estonia in 1880 there were 507 valla schools and 13 parochial

schools. Cf. H. SPEER, Das Bauernschulwesen im Gouvernement Estland

vom Ende des achtzehnten Jahrhunderts bis zur Russifizierung (Tartu 1936).

2 In 1886 in Saaremaa and Muhumaa, there were 135 valla schools and 12

parochial schools.

3 See page 200f.

4 Cf. PÕLD, Eesti kooli ajalugu, p. 60ff.

5 In 1896, the percentage of the analphabets in Livonia was 2 and in North

Estonia but 6/10.

6 See page 213ff.

7 The gymnasium under his name was opened on December 7, 1883.

8 A volume, Hugo Treffneri Gümnaasiumi 90 a. album, to mark the 90th

anniversary of the opening of this gymnasium, is scheduled to appear in 1975.





The project of the Estonian Alexander School unfolds a particular example of the zeal of the Estonians for education.

Once the elementary school had been brought to the necessary level and was functioning well, the next task to be tackled was that of making provision for a secondary school. The district schools and gymnasiums in German and the town schools in Russian could not satisfy the needs of a people (1) which had become conscious of its own goals in national culture.

With regard to education the Baltic German rulers had only one solution: germanization. Accordingly, as soon as they noticed that the thirst of the people for higher education managed to find expression they began to use the schools for their purpose so that the educated elements would be lost for the people and the people would have no educated leadership at all. In the growing struggle also this position was challenged. The people wanted nothing of this.

The idea of higher education in the indigenous language first arose in Holstre (2) in about 1860 when a schoolmaster, Jaan Adamson, initiated action to organize a group of supporters for this idea. Warnings given by the Baltic German rulers (3) could not intimidate him and his associates.

The difficulties which faced these men were immediately immense. From the moment of submission of the plan to the authorities another battlefront was opened. The Baltic German rulers wanted to kill their embryonic plans in utero. The German masters made changes which were absolutely unacceptable to the originators. In addition, they sought to gain control over the matter by drastically changing the structure of the board (4). These changes were rejected. All difficulties were thrown in the way. In this situation it became clear that their

1 Their policy was harmful from the Estonian perspective of national thought and

life, for these schools attempted to divorce students from the life of the nation

2 In the school of Pulleritsu.

3 Prof. C. Schirren in his typical arrogance told the delegation sent to Tartu in

connection with the preparatory plans, that the happiest solution for the education

of the Estonians is germanization.

4 According to these changes the board of trustees was to consist of a squire a

pastor, the director and two Estonians. Thus, the founders and maintainers of the

school were to have the privilege of electing only two persons who, in addition

would constitute only a minority on that board.




plans would get nowhere. The only way that remained was that of by-passing the local Baltic German rulers and by appealing directly to the highest Russian authorities. A diplomatically calculated step designed to strengthen such an appeal was launched (1). The courage and boldness of the leaders Aadam and Peeter Peterson produced a wave of memorandums and a train of delegations from Sakala, of which at least one reached Czar Alexander II in 1864 (2). The quest for education and culture prompted cruel punishments on the part of the Baltic German terror regime as these self-styled 'bringers of culture' were always ready to act as barbarians. Members of the delegations sent by the Alexander School Committee suffered brutal reprisals in St. Petersburg and at home (3). After many new difficulties and seven years of waiting, permission finally was granted by the czar in 1869.

When permission was given to start the collection of funds, the general committee was formed in March 1871 (4) and Hurt became the president. During the subsequent years subcommittees were organized by the general committee until the network of them covered the whole country (5). In this way, the venture became a large-scale national affair, engaging the people in coordinated participation towards the materialization of this high goal.

As expected, these steps evoked a storm of reaction on the part of the Baltic Germans - they became enraged, crying out that higher education for Estonians was a dangerous thing. Offices, pulpits and publications were thrown into an extended campaign to spread lies, suspicion and confusion, in order to obstruct and paralyze the work to the greatest possible extent. Hurt throughout these years tirelessly waged the strenuous battle. He stood resolute in his undaunted determination to vindicate the Estonian nation and its culture. His convictions about the national thought were crystallized in the course of the battle and

1 The school was dedicated to the 'liberation' of the peasants by Alexander I.

2 In all these actions Köler was a mediator.

3 P. Peterson, a student of law, was arrested, thrown out of the university and

banished to Russia; he could never again see his homeland. A. Peterson was

arrested in St. Petersburg, and vexed in prisons in Riga and Viljandi and was

banished to Siberia. His vexations did not end there. Even the whole county had

to feel the effects of this terror since troops were stationed in these communities

as punishment tor a criminal offence.

4 First in Tarvastu. The headquarters were later moved to Tartu.

5 There were altogether about 150 subcommittees.





disseminated to stimulate and mobilize the people. His fifteen years in the defence of the national culture excited and aroused thought and action also on other salient issues in the battle.

The most telling answer to all the attacks and vicious machinations of the Baltic German regime was given by the people themselves. Their response can be seen in the national solicitation of funds for the project. So successful was it, that more than 100,000 gold roubles were collected, the sum needed for the founding and upkeeping of the school - a very large sum, indeed, when one considers the condition of the people at that time.

As time went on, the goal also was set higher. It was felt that it was not enough to establish a district school for which the collected sum of money was sufficient, but that a still higher school should be established (1). This project of the Alexander School is really comparable to a kind of national academy. As a result, the collection of funds was continued.

In the history of the development of self-consciousness in regard to Estonian national culture, this action must definitely be considered a very important chapter. It shows how a great idea taught the people to unite themselves in sacrifices for a common cause. As such, it took on dimensions which went far beyond the project of the school itself. It was one of the greatest national cultural activities undertaken on such a large scale by the Estonians. In fact, it became an important organ in the life of the nation. As a national organization it became a forum (2) for the leaders and for the fructification of national thought and culture. The end of all these efforts carried out with a spirit of enthusiasm and sacrifice was tragic. All of these dreams and hopes were completely crushed when the Russian authorities took over the money, and when all plans collapsed under the terror of russification.



This period in the history of literature has witnessed the greatest possible change. It begins with the village stories (3) by Jannsen, which due

1 This was the idea of Jakobson.

2 The congresses of the members of the general committee and of the

subcommittees were solemn gatherings. These were held in coordination

with the meetings of the Society of Estonian Writers.

3 His village stories were partly adaptations, partly translations.




to his fluent and expressive language, popular locution and stout humor won great popularity. However, very soon works began to appear which contributed towards a real transformation. This can be seen not only in the appearance of still new genre of literature (1), but also in the appearance of quality works which in an essential sense accomplished this metamorphosis.

It was in 1850 when Kreutzwald accepted the proposal of the Estonian Learned Society to resume the interrupted work on the national epic. He received all the materials collected by Fählmann, and, combining them with his own material -he had loved folk poetry since his childhood - remolded and reshaped the genuine traditions of the people, bringing all into a synthesis. Writing by night and in his rare leisure moments he was not spared disappointments (2). Yet, he completed the work which he regarded as his life's work (3). The Kalevipoeg (4), written in the eight syllabled trochaic metre (5), became an epochmaking event for the intelligentsia among the Estonians. In fact, it became the most important Estonian book of its age. It has greatly inspired Estonian patriotism, instilling national confidence and kindling strength for struggle under the double yoke of Baltic German feudalism and Russian czarism. With a clear voice it proclaimed freedom: Kalevipoeg is a hero who challenges the powers of darkness and waits to return to the

aid of his people in the struggle against those same powers.

Kreutzwald enriched his people by other accomplishments in the field of poetry. His Viru lauliku laulud (6) (The songs of the poet of Viru) had a deep impact on the subsequent poets. His Lembitu, a philosophical and historical poem (7), was published posthumously (8).

1 Cf. HARRIS, Literature in Estonia, p. 31ff.; MÄGI, Estonian Literature,

p. 16ff. JÄNES, Geschichte der estnischen Literatur, p. 39ff. Cf. also

E. THOMSON, Estnische Literatur, ihre europäische Verflechtung in Geschichte

und Gegenwart (Lüneburg 1973).

2 In 1853 the first redaction was ready but did not see print because the censor

purged it of all the places which dealt with the happiness of life during the

period of independence.

3 Published both in Estonian and German in 1856-61. The first Estonian edition

for general readers was edited in 1862.

4 Cf. W. F. KIRBY, The Hero of Esthonia and Other Studies in the Romantic

Literature of that Country (London 1895).

5 It comprises 20 songs with about 20,000 lines.

6 (Tartu 1865).

7 Lembitu was a hero who fell in the battle against the intruders; see vol, I, p. 44f.

8 (Tartu 1885). This work is based on some models.




The literary style which dominated this period was that of the lyrics. Here the creative power reached heights never before achieved. This élan erupted in the poetess Lydia Koidula (1), Jannsen's (2) daughter (3). Although her muse (4) was manysided and she cultivated several other genre of literature, her genius was fundamentally lyrical. Particularly her volume Emajõe ööbik (5) ('The Nightingale of Emajogi River') was received with great enthusiasm. What people had dreamed in secret but what no one had been able to express in such a manner, appeared suddenly in its fullness. Here everything connected with homeland and the Estonian nation became sacred. Her verse radiates jubilation and mournful eloquence. All these hymns came for the first time from a fervent Estonian heart. Her solemn reverence, intensity of sentiment, tenderness of feeling, charm by the depth of expression, dynamics of pathos, rhythm of form, and melody of language (6) were a revelation. In fact, her muse has brought her to the level of homeland lyrics in world


Koidula's influence on her contemporaries was immense. Her thematics inspired other poets, namely Friedrich Kuhlbars, Mihkel Veske and Ado Reinwald. Although they remained in the shadow of Koidula, they fully fulfilled their mission in the enrichment of the life of the people. Many of their songs became popular and, as such, an integral part of folk tradition. Moreover their inspiration performed a miracle that the spirit of poetry became so general that a large part of the intelligentsia in the country was kindled and that countless persons tried to cultivate the art of verse.

The patriotic verse was cultivated later by Jakob Liiv and Jakob Tamm, but even the best achievements could not reach the exalted heights of Koidula. Closer to them came the poetry of Karl Eduard Sööt, marked by his colorful symbolic verse, and that of Anna Haava with her more intent and expressive verse. As time went on poetry celebrated still other gains. It took on great epic dimensions with Jaan

1 This is the nom-de-plume. It is derived from koit 'the dawn'.

2 Emilie Florentine Lydia Jannsen, later Michelson.

3 See her biography, A. KALLAS, Tähdenlento (Helsinki 1915). It was

translated into Estonian; F. TUGLAS, Tähelend (Tartu 1918).

4 She received stimuli from Lilli Suburg in whose literary creation education

and in some respects even the emancipation of women take the forefront.

5 (Tartu 1866).

6 Her poetry is always musical and has been set to music.




Bergmann, the founder of the genre of ballads, who was able to invest them with high artistic value. This was carried on by Jakob Liiv and Jakob Tamm.

A special genre appears in national-romantic historical narrative, very impressive due to its ideology. As such it had an important function in the national struggle and cultural pursuit. This genre was initiated by Eduard Bornhohe who at the age of 18 wrote his Tasuja (1) (The Avenger). This is a work which ably employed the thematics of struggle for independence and heroism as exemplified by the war of liberation. It became the most widely read book. New cultivation of this genre appeared in Andres Saal (2) and Jaak Järv (3).

The dynamics of this thematic were strong enough to hold the field until the national-romantic historical narrative began to recede before another genre, namely, realistic fiction. Its origin is related to the name of Jakob Pärn. In prose literature he inaugurated a subject matter marked by actuality. It vividly echoes the struggles and aspirations, self-conscience, and the pride of achievement through work. He was the first to describe manifestations of contemporary life and pursuit. In the same stream stand the works of Maximilian Põdder and Elisabeth Aspe.

Still another genre emerged in original plays for theatre. It remains the merit of Koidula to have created the first original comedy. In the development of Estonian drama the most important cultivator is Johann Kunder (3).

Still another genre marks the enrichment of literary life, namely the genre of literary criticism. Here also Kunder is the first.

As this brief account indicates, literature in this period fulfilled in a special way its function as a component part in this unfolding of cultural pursuit. Its vitality can be seen not only in the appearance of still new genre of literature, but above all in an essential metamorphosis. In this period Estonian literature took on the expression of true literary creation, which spontaneously grew out from the soul of the nation, dwelling on the great sorrows and few joys of the people and treating ideas which were vital for national life. As such it was able to create a contact with all the strata of the nation. In fact, this re-

1 (Tartu 1880).

2 His Aita (Tartu 1891) made a great impact.

3 Cf. R. KANGRO-POOL, Eesti teaater algaastail (Tallinn 1949).




lation was more intimate than in any of the periods before or after. Beyond these accomplishments the enrichment was such that it was able to produce works of lasting value (1).

Towards the end of the century the unfolding literary spirit opened up still another avenue, and this one more commensurate with the national renaissance with its hard and severe realism. The great torch-bearer of realism is Juhan Liiv, one of the greatest poets of the Estonians, whose genius is manifested in simplicity of expression, concreteness and melody. The expression of the pathos of his people's sad history which percolated through his own sad life reaches the utmost profundities - every line he wrote is lived through and suffered through - yet he dares to come forward with his prophetic vision of the independence of the Estonian people. In 1892 August Kitzberg began his career with novels mirroring village life, but soon developed into a celebrated dramatist. The master of realistic fiction appears in Eduard Vilde. His Külmale maale (2) (To the Cold Country) was an event in literary life which signalled the arrival of a new era. These authors and their followers were ready to create works which were more related to the vital issues of social

life and the national struggle-works which moreover announced an era for literary creation which in breath and quality would come close to the achievements on the Europian scene.



More and more Estonian students carved a way out for themselves, despite the hardships, difficulties and obstacles, to win admittance to the precincts of academe. They entered various academic professions, the numerically strongest contingent being that of theological study. Because this contingent became particularly significant, it will be given separate treatment.

With regard to scholarly work and research, the regime in the home-country wanted to prevent any aspiration in this direction by the Estonians and blocked their way wherever possible. Opportunities for research could only arise abroad - but the difficulties were almost insurmountable and only a very few were able to carve out their way

1 Cf. A. ORAS, 'La letteratura Estone', in: Le letterature dei Paesi Baltici, ed.

G. DEVOTO (Milano 1969), p. 212ff.

2 (Tartu 1896).




in this fashion. The highest goals were reached by Dr. Ph. J. Karell (1) who entered a brilliant medical career in Paris and London. His reputation won him important positions (2). He reached world reputation by his publications from 1865 onward on the treatment of heart diseases (3), thereby securing a place in the history of medicine. His method is in use up to this day.

The heights of the artistic creation were reached by August L. Weizenberg (4), who, defying all the difficulties and obstacles, pursued his studies abroad. He became the first sculptor to acquire an international reputation. What he put into marmor and gypsym brought him fame in numerous art exhibitions in Western Europe (5).

However, even abroad the enemy was alert, ever vigilant to prevent any service in behalf of the oppressed Estonian homeland. The case of Johann Köler of Viljandimaa is a case in point (6). He pursued his endeavors in the service of creative art abroad with pertinacity and perseverance regardless of difficulties. By overcoming all the difficulties, Köler became the founder of the national art of painting. His endeavors were crowned with steady success (7). He became the first Estonian to make his name internationally known in creative painting. For his accomplishments he earned the title of an academician and became professor in the Academy of Art in St. Petersburg (8).

1 About this important family and lineage, see M. LIPP, Karellide suguvõsa

(Tartu 1932).

2 He was appointed by Czar Nicholas I as his junior physician, and by Czar

Alexander II as his personal doctor.

3 His study 'Über die Milchkur', in: St. Petersburger medizinische Zeitschrift

VIII (1865), inaugurated a number of works which were published in Paris

and Philadelphia, on his method.

4 1837-1921.

5 His greatest success was on world exibition in Paris in 1878.

6 When in 1863 he visited his homeland he was so deeply touched by what

he saw that he received inspiration for one of his major creations, a painting

Ärkamine noidusunest (Awakening from the sleep of the bewitched) on which

he worked long with the result that this huge painting was completed by 1865.

The maid lying in the coffin bereft of all adornment symbolizes the Estonian

nation, robbed of all its rights at the hand of its oppressors. At an international

exhibition of art in Vienna, this huge painting mysteriously disappeared.

According to contemporary opinion, it was an open secret that the Baltic German

squires had a hand in this affair.

7 A. VAGA, Johann Köler (Tartu 1931).

8 He earned the title in 1861 and became professor in 1867.




This is also the case with Hurt. After the death of the academician F. J. Wiedemann (1) Hurt by his qualifications had justified hopes to become his successor, but one without stature was elected. In this the hand of the Baltic German rulers was seen.

Regardless of every kind of difficulty and hardship, the spirit of determination prevailed. In the area of scholarly research it is natural that the Estonian academicians felt that primary attention had to be given to these areas in which research had long been overdue - namely the areas of philology, folklore and the history of their own people. It is obvious that these areas deserved the priority concern for cultivation. How deep was the gulf in this respect between the university of the land and the needs of the indigenous scholars and of their research is illustrated graphically by the fact that those who were determined to undertake research and to earn their doctorate had to do so abroad.

A brilliantly gifted young scholar, Mihkel Veske, pressed hard by poverty and hunger, managed to earn his doctorate in 1872 at the University of Leipzig in the area of Finno-Ugric and Estonian philology. But after his return to Tartu this qualified scholar was allowed no opportunity but that of a position as a lector (2) at a very low salary. Despite this, he carried on his scholarly studies in tireless research on the dialects (3) and folklore, traversing nearly the entire country in the process of collecting materials (4). When his hopes for the creation of a professorship on the Estonian language at the university collapsed, he accepted in 1887 a call to the chair of Finno-Ugric languages as associate professor at the university of Kasan in Russia where he was to receive his first normal salary. He enthusiastically engaged himself in research, made research trips in order to study the language of the sister nations. Veske's research was on the languages of Mordva, Tsheremiss and Votjak, congener languages of the Estonian people, and he made the results known in various publications in the proceedings of the University of Kasan. Of his monumental work, the one on the role of the languages of the Finnish-Estonian sister nations in the Slavic realm, only the first part could appear. His health had been

1 The author of the famous dictionary (1869).

2 1874-87.

3 He was working on the preparation of a great dictionary.

4 As one of the fruits of his research a work was published in 1879 which

is the first manual on the phonetics of the Estonian language.




sacrificed to his studies during his student days and his continuous overwork brought him to collapse in 1890.

The case of K. A. Hermann is another illustration. Because of the conflicts with the authorities of the university he had no other way than to earn his doctorate abroad (1).

The pursuit of Hurt toward his doctorate was also possible only abroad. In February of 1886 he defended his doctoral dissertation at the University of Helsinki in the area of Finno-Ugric philology, but on the Estonian language. This man, too, despite his extraordinary qualification, was given no opportunity to work at the university - which was his aspiration. His various publications in this area reveal the highest quality, and his merits in the area of folklore are even greater. He dedicated himself to the cultivation of those riches which had kept the nation's life and existence intact throughout the most inhuman periods of its destiny. He is the giant who dominates this area (2). Due to his immense collection of folkloristic materials (3), he earned the epithet 'the king of folkloristic materials' (4). It is an enormous collection (5), a treasury of the spiritual and cultural history of the past, an almost inexhaustible source of information. Hurt's legacy in these labors constitutes the largest single collection of Estonian folklore - some 45,000 folk-songs, 10,000 narratives, fairy-tales, etc. He accomplished this undertaking employing more than 1,000 voluntary assistants in the process. Hurt himself was engaged in the edition of these materials (6). All the editions of these materials by Hurt are scientifically treated and as such have a great scholarly value.

The extent as well as the quality of these materials caused interest and excitement outside (7).

In the field of folkloristic research additional fame was gained by the efforts of Matthias Johann Eisen, a poet, author and scholar. His

1 In 1880 he defended his dissertation on the Estonian philology at the university

in Leipzig.

2 O. KALLAS, Übersicht über das Sammeln estnischer Runen (Helsinki 1902).

3 A. AARNE, Estnische Märchen- und Sagenvarianten: Verzeichnis der zu den

Hurt'schen Handschriftsammlungen gehörenden Aufzeichnungen (Hamina 1918)

= FFC XXV, p. 7ff.

4 Cf. O. LOORITS, Estnische Volksdichtung und Mythologie: Zur estnischen

Kulturgeschichte (Tartu 1932), p. 12ff.

5 Hurt's collection contains 160 volumes with about 155,000 pages.

6 Vana kannel I-II (Tartu 1875-86); Setukeste laulud I-III (Helsingi 1904-07) =

Monumenta Estoniae antiquae vel Thesaurus antiquus I.

7 In September 1875 Academician F. J. Wiedemann submitted to the Imperial




collection activity began already in his boyhood. Through his publications (1) - vast in quantity but mostly popular - he was able to inspire readers to become helpers in an undertaking which grew into a very important collection (2).

Historical research of the indigenous people also gained momentum. Villem Reiman (3) due to his extraordinarily creative power produced a number of works which rest on original research in the historical sources and records. What Reiman initiated in his research made him the founder of the school of scientific research in Estonian history. Through these studies a new conception of Estonian history emerged marking an important progress vis-a-vis the one-sided Baltic German historiography. Through his accomplishments he became the founder of independent Estonian scholarly research in history and the history of culture.

As the foregoing shows, the development and growth of the national culture reached a level necessitating fresh attempts to reach higher plateaus. The development could not be content with a passive role in the formation of the future in higher education. The growing awareness and steady deepening of the national orientation in culture began to impress itself upon the university. In the consultation meeting between Hurt and his associates in 1878 a demand was formulated to establish a professorship for the Estonian language and history at the university (4) - a demand bold enough to carry the national culture into the curriculum of the university. For the Baltic German ruling class this was the same thing as thrusting a prod into a nest of wasps.

This opened up another front in the struggle - this time between the university which had become notorious for its aloof attitude towards the needs of life of the people and of the people in whose land the university existed. In the ensuing struggle the critique (6) of the univer-

Academy in St. Petersburg an extensive material which was published in

the following year. F. J. WIEDEMANN, Aus dem inneren und äusseren

Leben der Esten (St. Petersburg 1876).

1 The first was Esivanemate varandus I (Tartu 1882).

2 His collection comprises more than 90,000 pages, containing 17,000

folksongs and 25,000 folk tales together with their various recensions.

3 See page 249ff.

4 A. KRUUSBERG, Eesti ajaloo arkiiv II (Tartu 1922) p. 49.

5 In this connection an article by Dr. J. Krohn, published in a Finnish

newspaper, was publicized. It reproached the narrow-minded rulers of

Estonia for allowing the



sity (1) was accomplished by matter-of-fact arguments which were drawn from the arsenal formulated by Hurt in connection with the justification of the national culture and the cultivation of the language and indigenous traditions in higher learning. The engagement was carried on by debate, demarches (2), memoranda (3) and the press. The issue was given a new impetus when Hurt earned his doctorate in 1886. As an aside, it is pertinent to note that Hurt's aspiration was his appointment to a professional chair. This is typical of an Estonian leader who according to the true Estonian genius not only formulated the demand for an Estonian professorship but backed it up by hard work, earned qualifications and extraordinary accomplishments.

The difficulties in the way were so extreme that the whole affair became hopeless. Then there came the terror of russification. The whole issue had to be translated into a long range objective awaiting more humane conditions.

It was also most natural that the next step in these endeavors to engage the university in the life of the people was the establishment of a professorship of practical theology in the department of theology (4). In this struggle the Estonians exposed the totally abnormal relations which existed between the people and the ecclesiastical leadership - which was completely under the thumb of the Baltic German regime - relations which had developed into complete distrust. One step towards a constructive solution of this situation was held to be the creation of an Estonian and Latvian professorship for practical theology. At the very least, instruction would there be in the respective indigenous languages. This modest proposal was justified as being in the interest of the life of the church. However, such endeavors met with vehement opposition on the part of the faculty which, on the one hand, had able

energies of Kreutzwald to be so callously used up by burdens of ordinary

routine and for not permitting him to engage himself in scholarly work

via the creation and appointment to a professorship - however natural this

would have been in any cultured country.

1 The press stated that the university is an institution which prefers to investigate

the life of worms and beetles but which ignores the needs of life of the nation in

whose midst it exists.

2 A. Grenzstein was most active in regard to contacts with the university.

3 Such memoranda were presented to Senator Manassein. Cf. H. KRUUS,

Eesti ajaloo lugemik III (Tartu 1929), p. 294.

4 About the faculty of theology, see VÖÖBUS, Department of Theology at

the University of Tartu, p. 15ff.




scholars (1) and even men of stature and fame (2), but which, on the other hand, was completely blind to the needs of the people and their spiritual welfare (3). As such, it was bound to fight against everything that manifested life and genuine spiritual power (4). Such a proposal enraged the German faculty and the Baltic German rulers and they fought back tooth and nail (5) against any opening which would let fresh air enter

this-as they tenaciously regarded it - exclusively Baltic German affair. The battle developed into a long and vehement struggle.

A new phase in this tense battle occurred when J. Kvacala (6) was appointed to the chair of church history by the government authorities. This decree for the first time opened the way for a scholar other than a Baltic German to become a member of the faculty. A Slovak had been given an opportunity to serve on the faculty. He was received with scathing bitterness. Here, let it be said that it is necessary to restore the honor due to him-it has up to now, unfortunately, been tarnished (7). The Estonians (8) will gratefully remember him as the first man on the faculty with a heart warm enough to understand the plight of the indigenous people (9). He took the need for an Estonian and Latvian scholar in the chair of practical theology to heart. He took time to write memoranda to the department of theology (10), to the government of the university and the ministry of education, and did not shrink from

1 Theodosius Harnack, Alexander von Oettingen and Moritz von Engelhardt.

2 Wilhelm Voick, Reinhold Seeberg, Nathanael Bonwetsch and Alfred Seeberg.

3 It did not permit the sons of the land to undertake advanced studies. Cf. J.

KÕPP, Mälestuste radadel III (Lund 1969), p. 27. Its negative stand on such

a vital issue as evangelism is very telling. Cf. T. HAHN, Lebenserinnerungen

(Stuttgart 1940), p. 206.

4 The faculty fought vehemently against the movement of revitalization of the

Christian religion and some carried this even to bizarre extreme. See page 119.

5 K. GIRGENSOHN, 'Die Theologische Fakultat', in: Die Universität Dorpat,

hrsg. von H. SEMEL (Dorpat 1918), p. 50 shows the hatred with which the faculty

opposed the idea.

6 A Slovak from Hungary. His appointment took place in 1893.

7 Cf. v. Engelhardt, Die deutsche Unioersität Dorpat, p. 271, 515; v. SCHRENCK,

Baltische Kirchengeschichte, p. 147.

8 So, too, will the Latvians.

9 He published articles in Polish and Hungarian newspapers about the deplorable

conditions in the Balticum, treated boldly and critically the part of the Baltic

German ruling class, and described the endeavors and accomplishments of the

Estonians and Latvians to heighten their cultural life.

10 The candidatures of Hurt, R. G. Kallas and V. Reiman were raised for this





the struggle (1) on behalf of the needs of the indigenous people. He was finally able to see positive results from this protracted and strained battle, scarred by too many reefs and rocks, temporary successes and new setbacks, but only at a much later point in time (2).

With regard to all of these unending difficulties, snags, hardships, obstacles, setbacks and failures, it must be said that all this is typical of that which every far-reaching national cultural endeavor had to endure under the heel of foreign rulers. Every inch of success had to be bought at the price of enormous energy expended in struggle and perseverance.



The Estonian theologians were put to a very hard test. In fact, it did not end with graduation. When indeed all the difficulties and hardships were somehow surmounted the outlook was still very dim. A path forward was ringed with thorns in any event.

One important principle of the Reformation was the right of congregations to elect their own pastors. However, the foreign ruling class had seen to it that it meant nothing in the Baltic lands, not even centuries

after the Reformation. The new church law of 1832 had secured the same privilege in the interest of the ruling class: the squires were accorded the patronage right of appointment of the pastor, but the people had to carry the expenses (3). Such a system constituted a dim outlook indeed for the indigenous theologians. It was particularly difficult for outstanding men and hopeless for those who by their activities had taken an independent stance in full awareness of their duties to the people awaiting their leadership. This policy was brutal in the extreme (4) and it tested the limits of endurance. The case of Hugo H. F. Treffner(5), an outstanding personality, speaks for itself. He tried to obtain a parish in several places. He was well received by the people but his candidature was not acceptable to the consistory and he met difficulties in this respect everywhere. The harassment he suffered

1 J. KÕPP, Mälestuste radadel II (Lund 1954), p. 65.

2 Cf. VÖÖBUS, Department of Theology at the University of Tartu, p. 23f.

3 See page 134.

4 Cf. BILMANIS, The Church in Latvia, p. 17f.

5 See page 212.




is a classic example of what a man who wanted to serve his people had to experience in the church. He finally became tired of all this harassment and abandoned his attempts to serve in the ministry. The case of M. J. Eisen unfolds the same endless story. He was not allowed to work in his homeland. The harassment he suffered as a man who with his eminent gifts wanted to serve his people compelled him to leave the homeland (1).

But even in such difficult cases, the spirit of tenacity took hold and began to carve out its own way. The case of J. Hurt exemplifies this very well. He was elected by the congregation in Äksi but the consistory

did not approve of the choice of the people. Seized by resignation, he returned to teaching and literary work. After a while, he tried again. His tenacity was finally rewarded; he reached the goal since the people remained adamant in their support of him.

Only very slowly were changes in the conditions brought about as a result of tenacious, hard struggling and endless wrestling. In this way, the indigenous ministry had to create the conditions for its service among its own people.

These moved in two directions. First, through attempts to find a way out of the unbearable conditions in the homeland by the establishment of Estonian emigrant settlements in Trans-Peipsi and other parts of Russia (2). Here, in their own communities, free of the jurisdiction of the consistory of the Baltic German ruling class, they could pursue their activities unhindered and without harassment. More - conditions were created in which the indigenous pastors could develop their ministry, pursue their work and deepen their role making it creative in the service of the people. This area played a significant role in the development and life of the indigenous ministry. It gave great encouragement to the young theologians and it inspired the preparation of indigenous theologians - for it was known that if no place could be found in their homeland for those who had devoted themselves to the service of the people there at least was an area outside the country where they would be able to work.

Secondly, energies were concentrated upon the unbearable situation in the homeland by collective strength hand in hand with hard work

1 He served as a pastor in a congregation in Petroskoi, then in Ingermanland,

and finally in Cronstadt.

2 See page 231ff.




in improving living conditions and by becoming independent economically. More and more the Estonians felt the strength to demand timely changes long overdue in their backward situation. Respect for the will of the people was demanded more and more vigorously and sometimes grudgingly granted. The establishment of some new congregations (1) created places where the breathing was somewhat easier (2). This spirit gained more and more ground. Some rural congregations assumed the leading role in the fight for the emancipation of the will of the people (3).

In connection with this it is necessary to add that just as the most important leaders came from homes inspired by the movement of the Herrenhuters, so also was this true in the case of the pastors. Hurt also came from this same background. The significance of this case must be especially brought out. The Christian ethical power, which formerly had seized ordinary people, through Hurt was carried over into the Estonian intelligentsia and thereby assumed its role in the work of building up national and cultural life. Here once again the importance of the movement of the brethren comes to the fore.

The first generation of Estonian pastors proved themselves capable not only of bringing fervor and devotion into ecclesiastical work in the service of their own nation, but also of enriching various other areas of culture and of igniting the spiritual and intellectual life.

Unusual talents in the service of the ministry appeared. In the pastoral work a special position belongs to C. Laaland who, owing to his gifts, rose to the highest office of the church, not in Estonia but outside the jurisdiction of the consistory in Tallinn (4).

The first generation of Estonian theologians is characterized by the vigor it imparted to the field of religious and theological literature.

1 Most important among these was the foundation of the congregation of Peetri

in Tartu in 1884.

2 The congregation of Peetri in Tartu became a vigorous community, able to press

through its demands and to introduce a new liberalized constitution congenial to the

spirit of the people and their needs, granting initiative to the people and creating

the premises for active perticipation of members in the affairs of the congregation.

It also could demand that its shepherd of souls be a minister of its own choosing,

W. Eisenschmidt, by repaying a stipend which he had been compelled to accept

under stipulation not to work in his homeland.

3 Congregations such as Kolga Jaani, Nõo, and some others.

4 See page 239.




The ratio of authors among these theologians is remarkable. Some gained great reputation and their publications were widely used. At the top of these publications stands the name of R. G. Kallas. His books belong to the best written on religious literature. His publications exude wit and refinement of spirit, skill and charm. He certainly must be characterized as one of the deepest thinkers and most thoroughly

developed personalities.

In the pedagogical area a unique position belongs to Hugo H. F. Treffner. Since he was not permitted to enter the ministry in the homeland, he devoted his talents to the field of higher education. Other theologians manifested talents which enabled them to put new life into the work of cultural societies in the area of scholarship, literary culture, higher education, and spiritual-intellectual culture, societies which have a very important place in the history of the culture of the Estonians. Of the theologians who manifested talents which brought them to the leadership of these societies, those of Dr. Jakob Hurt and Andreas Kurrikoff in particular, deserve to be singled out.

The first theologians were men who were able also to bring the people towards a deeper self-consciousness as a nation and they shaped their thought world in that direction. A giant in this respect is Hurt.

Very deep was the impact made by V. Reiman (1). As a son of an active member of the community of the Herrnhuters, he was a personality whose doings were all motivated by deep piety. In his religion he did not place doctrine first, but rather a living Christianity which manifests itself in deeds. He possessed extraordinary gifts for the deepening of the pastoral ministry as well as a charisma for the restoration of the dignity of the Christian ministry.

Reiman worked tirelessly towards the renewal of the church life (2). His vision of the church endeavored to remove the stigma of colonial power from it which had desecrated it so much. The new understanding

1 In 1899 he became assistant pastor in Kolga-Jaani and in the following year

pastor; he served this congregation until his death.

2 In his proposals he demanded the removal of the existing consistories, the

liquidation of the patronage system and land taxes and urged a thorough reform

of the department of theology. He took the autonomous parish as the fundamental

unit of the church which governs its life by its assembly which has the authority

to elect all its officers, and also all the delegates to the district and provincial

synods. Through such measures he wanted to build up the life of the church in

the democratic way congenial to the democratic spirit o£ the indigenous people.




of the church's mission and task turned to the needs of the people (1) and began to emphasize service as the church's true character (2). Among his associates who labored in the interest of the new concept of the church as the church of the people and who deepened this image, the most eminent was Johan Kõpp (3). His grasp of the profundities of the Christian ministry shows that Reiman had found in him a congenial spirit. However, the Baltic German rulers fought with hands and feet against all these endeavors to make changes in the archaic and obsolete structure of the church - changes which were intended to enliven it, and to encourage the people's participation in its life and work (4).

The profile of Estonian theologians constitutes that of an avantgarde marked by several characteristic features. First it exhibits an extraordinary spirit of determination and readiness to face all kinds of difficulties and hardships, even hopeless situations. Further, it is characterized by a desire to revitalize the church, to awaken its sense of dignity and calling and to make it more relevant by placing it in the service of the people. Thirdly, these theologians by their extraordinary services have secured for themselves a place in a wider sense. They were not only pastors but men who brought a new climate to the ministry by their ability to bring real enrichment to the spiritual, educational, cultural and scholarly life. These theologians, whether they could in the end exercise their abilities in the ministry of the church in their homeland or were compelled to work outside have left deep marks on every area in the history of culture of the Estonian nation.

1 Cf. J. KÕPP, 'From Established Church to Free Peoples Church', in:

Apophoreta Tartuensia (Stockholm 1949), p. 4f.

2 The opposite of the nature of the church of the overlords consisting in

dominion and power. Cf. A. GRENZSTEIN, Herrenkirche oder Volkskirche?

(Dorpat 1897).

3 About the impact of V. Reiman, on the formation of his personality, see his

autobiography, Mälestuste radadel I (Lund 1953), p. 194ff. ; II (Lund 1954),

p. 132.

4 It must be emphasized that these were the most vital endeavors and the most

desperately needed reform plans-they honor these men of insight and foresight.

They were important in view of the violent attacks which were raised against

the church by the organized left wing movement and other adversaries. These

the extant church furnished a target which could not have been more vulnerable

and hence suitable for discrediting the Christian religion altogether. Yet, the

indigenous theologians who hurried to the rescue in this dangerous situation

found deaf ears. The obstructive attitude on the part of the church of the

overlords wanted to continue its centuries-old role. It suppressed any constructive

attempt aiming at healing. Thus to the detriment of the church the vision of these

men of insight had to await better times.







Unbearable conditions of life in the homeland compelled people to use the few opportunities which presented themselves in order to escape their oppressors. Throughout history, settlements of the immigrants have emerged beyond Lake Peipsi in Russian territory. Some, such as the one on the peninsula of Ramda, are very old (1). A settlement in Prigorod Krasnyj (2) perhaps dates from the 16th century (3); another, the settlement of the 'country people of Lutsi' is from the 17th century (4). The largest of these was the community at St. Petersburg, where servants, craftsmen, clerks and messengers found employment. So far as we can determine, they demanded religious services in their own language as early as 1780, and inasmuch the community was numerically strong enough to carry out its desires, it was able to reach that goal by 1786 (5). By 1860, the Estonian congregation had over 5,400 members

1 I. ARENS, Die Samolwa-Esten (1952), p. 89, 99ff.

2 140 km. from Pskov.

3 O. KALLAS, Die Krasnyjer-Esten (Dorpat 1904) = VerhGEstnG XXI, 2, p.

31. At the end of the 19th century they lived in 32 villages.

4 O. KALLAS, Lutsi maarahvas (Helsingissä 1894), p. 38.

5 This was the year Pastor Hoffmann began to preach among them and to hold

services in Estonian, E. H. BUSCH, Materialien zur Geschichte und Statistik

des Kirchen- und Schulwesens der Ev. Lutherischen Gemeinden in Russland I

(St. Petersburg 1862), p. 66f.




and supported a school (1). It grew rapidly (2) - before the century ended, the congregation had 23,000 members (3).

Prior to the legislation introduced by the government in 1863, namely the passport regulations, the landlords had seen to it that the peasants remained shackled to the estates unable to escape. A gradual change occurred. The next step was the emancipation of the peasants from the punishment by the landlords in 1865. Then the community law, which theoretically removed the last hindrances in respect to the freedom to move (4), gave the peasants who had become the country's proletariat (5) the right to move. These measures carried out by the government opened the door for them to leave the country and to seek places far from the ruling class and its vexations.

Indeed, even before these laws were promulgated, contingents of persons in a spirit of despondency had made efforts to escape and to carry out that determination, fleeing whether to Samara (6), to Caucasia (7), or to the Crimea-the last attempt hangs together with a religious-social movement (8) - while the immigration to Siberia occurred later (9). However, the removal of the last obstacles in the way of unrestricted travel led to emigration on a larger scale to the Trans-Peipsi

1 M. AKIANDER, Bidrag till kännedom om evangelisk-luterska församlingerne

i Ingermanlands stift (Helsingfors 1865), p. 119.

2 BUSCH, Materialien zur Geschichte and Statistik I, p. 65f.; cf. ID., Ergänzungen

I (St. Petersburg-Leipzig 1867), p. 41.

3 A. von GERNET, Die Evangelisch-Lutherischen Gemeinden I (St. Petersburg

1919), p. xvi.

4 About these laws see J. ULUOTS, Gründzüge der Agrargesetze Estlands (Tartu

1935), p. 143ff.

5 KÖSTNER, Teoorjuse langemisest ja maaproletariaadi tekkest Liivimaal,

p. 29ff.

6 As early as 1855 they had founded a larger Estonian settlement 'Lifländka'.

A contemporary account of this undertaking is given by K. PALU, Esimesed

eesti väljarändajad ehk 40 aastat Samaaras (Jurjev 1897), p. 12.

This encouraged other groups to leave for Samara and Saratov.

7 In 1860-62.

8 This movement in 1860-61 was inspired by Juhan Leinberg, called the 'Prophet

Maltsvet'. About the legendary person, see A. KRUUSBERG, Materjaale

Maltsveti liikumise kohta (Tartu 1931), p. 20, 33. This emigration produced

several waves and involved thousands of persons.

9 1870-80. Persons who were former political prisoners had founded the first

Estonian settlement in Siberia several decades earlier.




area (1), adjacent to the homeland, an area which in the light of the linguistic and archaeological evidence once belonged to the Finno-Ugrish settlers (2) - opening up just beyond the settlements close to the bound- aries of the homeland a new territory, the district of Gdov (3) and adjacent areas (4). The movement was guided circumspectly (5). The groups involved consisted of workers and craftsmen who found employment as managers of the estates, clerks and tradesmen, but mainly of the country proletariat, peasants who had become landless and who in the new place were faced with hard labor in cutting the forests and overcoming all the difficulties in preparing the farmland and founding their homes. The settlers pioneered in similar fashion in arranging their religious and spiritual life. The first prayer-houses were arranged and conducted by the more educated and active peasants, eventually by a former teacher who emerged as an 'emergency helper' (6). They also had to carry out the care of the souls and perform baptisms, funerals and other cultic acts. Such a situation made it necessary to maintain relations with the home churches, travelling in larger groups as occasion permitted to the homeland in order to receive communion. But here, too, the pioneering spirit found new ways. The colonists in the town of Gdov and its vicinity created their own solution. There was a German Lutheran church (7) in the area whose membership had decreased rapidly and drastically (8). An arrangement was worked out which served the interests of both groups: in 1868, the colonists entered

1 I. ABENS, Die estnische Russlandkolonisation im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert

und die Trans-Peipus-Esten unter dem Zaren- und Sowjetregime 1861-1941 I

(Bonn 1964) = CBalt X-XI, 1, p. 22ff.

2 M. VASMER, Die alten Bevolkerungsverhältnisse Russlands (Berlin 1941),

p. 22.

3 'Seit dem Jahre 1864 begann die Einwanderung von Ehsten in die westlichen

Teile des Kreises Gdov, so auf Ländereien in unmittelbarer Nähe der Stadt

Gdov', v. GEBNET, Die Evangelisch-Lutherischen Gemeinden I, p. 103.

4 In the government (province) of Novgorod. The first group of 400 persons

settled down in 1868.

5 It was at this place that Laaland rendered a service through his articles,

warnings in the newspapers and matter-of-fact information about actual

conditions; he thus helped in directing the emigration into more favorable


6 Häda abiline, i.e. 'emergency-assistant'.

7 The church was a filiation of the church of Jaani in Narva.

8 This was as an effect of the liquidation of serfdom in Russia in 1861;

these Germans generally were clerks on the estates or servants; also

physicians and pharmacists.




into an agreement with the German congregation for the joint use of the church. An Estonian pastor was elected who preached three times in Estonian and once a month in German. This proved to be a happy solution for the spiritual care of the settlers who were scattered around the town within a radius of 18-39 km (1).

Other groups of colonies organized their church life differently. Those in the northern part of the district of Gdov because of the communication lines naturally were looking to Jamburg, a railway point between Tallinn-Narva-St. Petersburg, where there was an Estonian filial congregation. Cooperative arrangements were established.

Larger settlements located east of Gdov (2) then went their own way. In 1869, they appealed to the assessor of the consistory, C. Laaland (3) with a request that he should assume guidance over ecclesiastical life in the area in such a way that the work on the spot would rest on the shoulders of the helpers. As usual, so this time, Laaland came to their aid. He undertook long journeys in order to serve them. By December of 1869 he preached at the settlement of Shvaretz under the open sky, confirmed the youth and performed other religious acts and rites. In the following year, he preached at the same place and visited the neighboring settlements. This developed into an ecclesiastical tradition namely, to gather twice a year under the open sky for worship services, a tradition which Laaland carried out even in the first years after his elevation to the highest office when his duties gradually forced him to relinquish it.

Further development was marked by the founding of small local congregations, erecting buildings to serve their life. They were called 'prayer-houses'. The first was erected in 1872 in the settlement of Strjakovo (4). It also was furnished with schoolrooms. Here a sexton-teacher(5) and preacher was appointed. Thus was an institution created which in the history of ecclesiastical, spiritual and cultural life in these communities was to play an important role.

This event became an arsis for a general movement of founding prayer-houses in the larger settlements. The next prayer-house-school

1 Among the pastors J. J. Hauboldt (1882-1915) served over the longest


2 Strjäkovo, Domkino, Beshkovo, Shvaretz, a.o.

3 See page 239.

4 v. GERNET, Die evang. luth. Gemeinden I, p. 103.

5 'Küsterlehrer', ibid., I, p. 105.




emerged in Shvaretz (1). Others followed in Beshkovo, Domkino, Voshkovo, Zadorje, a. o. In the process of organizing and developing church life in this way and in giving financial help where needed, the relief fund under the direction of Laaland was of more than ordinary significance. The same may be said in respect to suppoit for the sexton-teacher institute.

The beginnings of the religious-ecclesiastical, spiritual and educational life stemmed from the genuine and urgent desire of the Estonian people for spiritual nurture and their strong longing for education and culture. In this the bearers of this life were individuals who despite demanding circumstances were able to demonstrate what values of life were to be nurtured and fostered, to make existence more meaningful.




Initiative, determination and hard work moved the communities of the colonists towards steady improvement and success. Initiative and courage were revealed in actions undertaken by the settlers who in collective groups rented the estates, worked up the unused soil and sold land to fellow colonists thus helping to form settlements. More and more wilderness and swamp areas were formed into arable land (2), and hand in hand with this labor the settlements were improved and developed (3). The landscape of the backward Russian terrain was changed into cultured land and steadily developed through planned agricultural policy (4). Densely settled areas were laced with a new system of roads. Most outstanding among the settlements was Domkino - the core of which in 1914 consisted of 1,500 members - together with smaller settlements in the vicinity, which had a membership of 3,200. It de-

1 In the year 1873.

2 The process of cultivation did not take place only through clearing of wood-

land but also through drying of the swamp-districts, particularly east and north-

east of Gdov.

3 Agrarian associations were established in order to improve agricultural methods

and to consolidate the economic strength of the settlers. Modern agricultural

machinery was acquired by special societies which often functioned as sections

of these agrarian associations.

4 The central office of the Estonian agrarian associations in St. Petersburg

stood under an expert direction.




veloped a vigorous progiam in the spiritual (1), educational (2), cultural (3) and economic (4) fields.

In this realm carved out by the colonists, so conspicuous to travellers because it was marked by kilometers long flourishing blue flax fields, by wind- and water mills, bee hives in orchards - all of which could not be seen in the adjacent Russian areas - church organization gradually took on a different shape. At one place the development moved toward the forming of a giant congregation. This took place in Gdov (5). Prayer-house congregations in the middle of the district of Gdov were drawn into the orbit of the congregation of Gdov, so, too, local communities at South Luga (6). The settlement of Samolva was absorbed into this congregation after the consistory-general of St. Petersburg released it from its direct care. The result was the new giant congregation with many helpers whose work covered an area of 12,000 square kilometers (7). In the period 1885 through 1904, a number of new prayer-houses were erected - their number reached 23, the 5 largest furnished with towers (8).

Among other congregations in the same consistorial district, development and growth took place. New congregations were founded and filial congregations became independent as in Jamburg (9). Other congregations were to be found in Gatshina, Pskov, a. o.

Estonian congregations also were founded in the district of Novgorod. It is reported that in the year 1905, over 4,300 Estonians were settled there (10). This number must have been higher (11).

1 See ARENS, Die estnische Russlandkolonisation I, p. 30ff.

2 Ibid., I, p. 32ff.

3 The settlement had a school, an educational society and at the center of

the settlement 85 different newspapers and journals were subscribed to, 15

of which were Russian. About the libraries, see ARENS, Die estnische

Russlandkolonisation II (Bonn, 1967) = CBalt XII-XIII, 1, p. 83f.

4 Societies were established to build up economic strength, and various

agrarian associations were also formed: a consumer-association was also

established which in 1912-13 had 3 stores with 17,000 roubles in goods.

5 Cf. ARENS, Die estnische Russlandkolonisation I, p. 67f.

6 Mjasnikova-Gora and Silantskiy.

7 Cf. v. GERNET, Die evang.-luth. Gemeinden I, p. 103 ; II, p. 214.

8 Strjäkovo, Domkino, Beshkovo, Vytshkovo and Zadorje.

9 Ibid., I, p. lOlf.

10 Ibid., I, p. 153.

11 5,851 persons according to the census in 1926, cf. M. J. EISEN,

'Eestlased loodepoolsel Venemaal', in: Eesti Kirjandus XX (1928), p. 621.




The bearers of the religious-spiritual life were also bearers of educational and cultural life. Sexton-teachers and their helpers saw their mission in a wider sense, creating and instilling cultural activities in every area. They organized singing choruses, music-choirs, associations for educational and cultural purposes. Their lange of interests often included public libraries and theater groups.

The greatest endeavors in this period of ecclesiastical culture belonged to education. Important inspiration in this respect came from the congregation of Jaani at St. Petersburg where 'school associations' had been founded as early as 1870 in order to create a firm foundation for the maintenance of elementary and middle schools. This practice proved itself effective in giving a solid footing for the educational establishments. The same idea was taken up by the congregation in Gdov where a school with four classes and with a solid curriculum (1) was founded in this way (2). It secured its place in the history of the culture of these colonist communities, providing stimuli for the origin of the middle class intelligentsia as well as for the preservation of the national culture.

The later development brought important changes. Schools were no longer built in conjunction with the prayer-houses, but separately though sharing the same yard. Further, the decree of November, 1890 subordinated all 'church schools' to the ministry of education. Supervision which had up to that time belonged to the pastors was transferred to Russian school inspectors who acted in the interest of the panslavistic russification. All subjects except religion had to be taught in the Russian language. However, thanks to the passivity and neglect on the part of the Russian inspectors on the one hand and the endeavors and skill of the teachers on the other hand, other subjects continued to be taught in Estonian in a number of schools.

In the district of Gdov, schools were founded on the basis of the "school associations' at 5 places thus replacing the sexton-schools in a far more effective way (3).

1 The curriculum included the following disciplines: 1. Estonian language-

4 hours; German language-3 hours; Russian language; religious instruction;

mathematics, history, natural sciences, geography, singing and drawing.

Instruction took place in Estonian and Russian.

2 The procedure at the government was initiated in 1902 but permission did

not come until 1906.

3 ARENS, Die estnische Russlandkolonisation I, p. 73.




This movement was greatly intensified and the system of the ' school associations' was adopted in other places. Schools with as high as a 5 year curriculum began to appear (1).

The last phase in the development of schools was inaugurated through the endeavors of the settlers to place education on a still firmer footing by including the schools in the system of district schools. These efforts were inspired by an election victory in the district of Gdov in 1913 which promised to open up a new era in the development of education.

From a general point of view, it must be stated that the settlers were able to show what kind of life was needed and desired when free of harassment and oppression on the part of the political and ecclesiastical authorities in their homeland. According to these criteria, they could develop their religious, spiritual, educational and cultural pursuits. Soon after they could secure material needs for their existence, provisions were made for satisfying deeper needs, endeavors to serve what according to the idiosyncrasy of the Estonian people is expressed by the term 'sisu', the common Finno-Estonian vocable to express in one word the inner values of life (2).

It is important to underscore the fact that they were able to create this life and foster it under the guidance of their own leadership. For example, that which the leadership in the congregation of Jaani (3) at St. Petersburg provided by way of ideas and patterns had been tested and developed over a longer period of time. This came to the fore in the direction of the life of the colonists, in help and assistance in creating a church organization suited to serve their religious and spiritual needs. The same was the case in the area of schools where the ' school associations' became very important in order to put education on a firm foundation.

Such leadership was able to develop not only a religious and ecclesiastical but also a cultural atmosphere, since the congregation of Jaani in St. Petersburg had been for a long time a center of spiritual and intellectual culture. Its leadership was in the hands of outstanding leaders, authors and scholars, men like Laaland (4), Dr. Hurt (5), his assis-

1 In Mjasnikova-Gora in 1913.

2 See vol. I, page 8ff.

3 Concerning the energetic spirit and active life exemplified by this

congregation, see W. KAHLE, Aufsätze zur Entwicklung der evangelischen

Gemeinden in Russland (Leiden 1962) = OekSt IV, p. 36.

4 See page 234, 239.

5 See page 206f.




tants A. Mohrfeldt, R. G. Kallas, and others, who stimulated high expectations in the spiritual and cultural life. Such men were to be found in other churches as well, men like Pastor M. J. Eisen in Cronstadt.

In this atmosphere sans harassment and persecution, the ecclesiastical life could be built up in a natural way, inducting men into service according to their qualifications and talents. This was the only place where an Estonian clergyman, C. Laaland (1), could be elected to the highest office of the church. In 1867, he became an assessor of the consistory of St. Petersburg and in 1887 he was elected Superintendent-General of the consistorial district of St. Petersburg, which office he held until his death. Laaland was the first Estonian to reach the highest office in the church. He was highly respected as a real leader. His vision, range of faculties and scope of concern are reflected in his activities (2). His organizational talents appeared in connection with the handling and direction of streams of colonies. His relief fund (3) played an important role in the upbuilding of church life in this area during the first phase. He was the leading spirit in the Evangelical Lutheran Bible Society in Russia. His memory was long revered as that of a chief pastor who had selflessly devoted himself to pastoral service and who had shared with the needy of that which he had. The religious and spiritual work among the colonists even produced a kind of apostolate on a larger scale to weld together spiritually all the scattered communities of the faithful. This appears in the ministry of Pastor August Nigol (4). He felt the calling of bringing together the scattered communities (5) by creating communication lines through his

1 He was born January 29, 1824 in the Kambja district of Tartu as a son of

a school teacher; he died June 3, 1891 in St. Petersburg, cf. 'Laaland', in: Eesti

biograafiline leksikon, p. 257.

2 Cf. also KAHLE, Aufsätze zur Entwicklung der evangelischen Gemeinden in

Russland, p. 36f., 109, 145.

3 Hilfskasse der ev. luth. Gemeinde in Russland, founded in 1859.

4 He was pastor of the Estonian congregation in Helsinki.

5 There were more than 300 Estonian settlements with about 200,000 settlers.

Among these, those in Abhazia at the shore of the Black Sea occupy a special

place. Settlers who had emigrated to the steppes of Samara began to resettle here.

In 1882 the first village, Estonia, was founded; soon other villages followed;

Saime, Sulev, Punase Lageda, Ülem-Linda and Alam-Linda. Struggle with wild

nature and diseases ended with the victory of the diligent and hard-working

settlers. The records, collected by Jakob Nerman, speak of their educational,

cultural and social achievements.




travelling ministry. He undertook the apostolate of evangelization to all the Estonian colonists throughout the Russian empire. His kerygmatic zeal was combined by a burning love for and devotion to his

nation and by his patriotic consciousness of the fate and mission of the people. He visited almost all the great colonies. In 1915 he was in Crimea, and Caucasia, in 1917 in Siberia, Vologda, Vjatka, Kostroma, Jaroslav, returning several times to St. Petersburg and tirelessly journeying forth again over the Russian plains and steppes. This he did in his passionate zeal for the idea of oneness in the realm of the settlements (1). He carried out this program to the time of his martyrdom (2). His apostolate had other fruitful by-products which contributed to the study of the history (3) and the history of culture of the colonists (4)-

1 K. EINBUND, 'Õpetaja August Nigol', in: Eesti Kirjandus XII (1918), p. 107.

2 He was murdered by the Soviets in Perm, August 16, 1918. Cf. ARENS,

Die estnische Russlandkolonisation III (Bonn 1971) = CBalt XIV-XV, 1, p. 113.

3 His posthumously published extensive work, Eesti asundused ja asupaigad

Venemaal (Tartu 1918), is a reliable source about the colonization and its history.

4 He also had collected other very extensive materials about the development

of the colonization, but this shared the fate of the author.









That there was something in the air pointing to serious dangers from the East was ever more apparent. More and more cracks were created in the structure of the autonomy of the Baltic provinces (1). The signs began to speak the more clearly when the issue of russification emerged and became a matter of discussion and an item in the press. All this and more ought to have produced the need for circumspection and prudence. However, the Baltic German ruling class, with its incurably (2) narrow (3) and egotistic mind, refused to see or to listen. In its typically arrogant, haughty and despising attitude towards the people of the land it tenaciously continued to refuse to realize the facts of life, namely that after the people had attained a higher level of

1 The most important action in this process of curtailment was the reform in

the administration of towns in 1877 which replaced the medieval system.

2 Only during World War I when the anti-German feeling in Russia had grown

into enmity, threatening to take over from the Baltic German ruling class all its

premises for life and existence did the knighthood in Estonia take the first

serious step by promising certain forms of participation in the administration of

the provinces. This gesture of the ruling class at a time when it had reached the

end of the line was too late and did not ring true.

3 A classical example is the defense of the Baltic German position and privileges

by C. Schirren. No doubt it is a splendidly composed apology and presented

with courage and passion, but it reveals a medieval mind clinging to feudal times;

therefore it did not understand the facts of life, the needs of the changed conditions,

and was therefore completely unable to point the way for the future. See his

Livländische Antwort an Herrn Juri Samarin (Leipzig 1869).




education and after they had obtained a new juridical and economic freedom thanks to the reforms of 1850-60, and who, thanks to their hard work, diligence, and aspirations had worked themselves up to a level of material strength and well-to-do status, a new era had started. It also refused to understand that it was inevitable for the people to demand a share in the administration of the land and increasingly ample opportunities for the fostering of their own indigenous life and culture. The ruling class became a victim of its own colonist mentality1 which did not allow it to rise to a higher level of consciousness, namely that of building up the country and thus of understanding the need for cooperating with the people of the country for common good and a better future. The unshakable demands of the Estonians that such cooperation must take place on a democratic foundation made no impact on the gentry. Their petrified mentality doomed the ruling class itself as well as the entire country. Instead of giving consent to the justified demands of the time which in any case would not be silenced permanently, and thereby gathering wide masses behind a joint front to defend the autonomy of the country, the ruling class pushed the people into an even deeper opposition. In this situation, it was easy for the Russian rule to remove one stone after another from the wall of autonomy and then ruin it completely. That time arrived when a representative of militant nationalism rose to the throne in the person of Alexander III. The fact that at his enthronement he did not confirm the privileges of the Baltic lands was ominous. It did not take long before pandemonium broke loose (2).

In the first place, the schools were made a direct means for the process of russification. Russians completely foreign to the land and the people were put into school administrations everywhere. With this change the country schools ceased to be an organ of the evangelical church. Only religious instruction remained under its supervision. More and more the situation was tightened and freedom of learning curtailed. Russian was introduced as the main language, and in 1887 a decree was issued which made the Russian language the language of

1 One illustration of this mentality: the gentry was not willing to provide any

solution for the landless proletariat under crying and impossible conditions, want

and poverty, not even when the peasants were compelled to leave the country.

Instead part of the gentry brought in 20,000 peasants from German settlers in South

Russia as farmers or they separated for them lands from their estates.

2 Cf. also J. H. JACKSON, Estonia (London 1948), p. 110ff.




instruction in all schools. This involved the severest of consequences for educational and cultural work. Many teachers who had been the bearers of many-sided cultural activities in the local communities, because of their lack of the Russian language, had to resign. This constituted a blow which actually destroyed much more than the ongoing process in education. New teachers came from a different educational system and were not equipped to carry out the work in the same spirit. The Estonian seminaries one after another fell victim to the ravage of the Russian oppression (1). The blows of russification buried under the ruins also great endeavors to materialize the dreams for a center of higher learning. This is the Alexander School for which very great sacrifices had been made (2). When the school was opened in 1888 the institution was converted to a town school in which the Russian language was used.

The ruthlessness knew no limits. Censorship became very stringent watching not only every move in the community life, but even the private sector; not only did it keep the public word under control, it tried to direct and form it. Under this ruthless pressure the Estonian educational, cultural and scholarly activities could not hold out. Police and other forces of coercion were imported from Russia to suppress and to kill every symptom of the Estonian spirit towards freedom in whatever creative respect (3).



A number of orders and decrees were issued against the evangelical church which struck like hammerblows and gave neither respite nor time for recovery (4). Their intention was the curtailment of the rights and of the freedom of the Lutheran church (5). A battery of decrees and orders was let loose in the year 1885, declaring at the outset that the Lutheran church must keep in mind that its status was only that of a tolerated institution and no more.

1 The last was the seminary in Kaarma which was closed in 1910.

2 See page 213ff.

3 The suppression struck out at cultural and scholarly institutions and societies.

The Estonian Literary Society was proscribed in 1893.

4 Cf. SILD, Eesti kirikulugu, p. 217f.

5 Cf. also A. TORMA, The Church in Estonia (London 1943), p. 12ff.




In 1885, an order from the ministry of the interior was issued which forbade the erection of churches without special permission from the Russian orthodox eparchy. It was issued at the same time that the building activity of the orthodox churches was eagerly promoted. A law came out in the same year curtailing the influence of the evangelical clergy: it forbade pastors to retain any directorship in the primary schools and in the seminaries for teachers. In the same year, an order was promulgated that the minutes of the synods had to be submitted to the ministry of the interior with the prescription that they were to be written in the Russian language.

In 1886, laws so designed that financial means were to be used to favor the propaganda of the Russian orthodox church were promulgated. One law relieved the members of the orthodox church from all financial burdens which they on the basis of their real estate owed the Lutheran church. This measure was calculated to reduce the income of the evangelical churches, and in fact, this in many a parish did mean a considerable loss. But not only this, the measure was also calculated to combine the recruitment propaganda of the Russian orthodox church with an allurement of material profit. The other law heralded the expropriation of real estate if needed for the establishment of the Russian orthodox churches, cemeteries and schools. In 1887, an order was issued by the ministry of the interior and given to the superintendent-general which put tight controls over the synodical gatherings. It demanded alert surveillance over these meetings, particularly that these deal only with prescribed matters; further, matters to be discussed at the synod were to be reported in advance to the governor; also forbidden was the publication of the minutes of the synod.

An order from the ministry of the inteiior issued in 1889 reveals to what heights of bureaucratic stupidity things could actually go. It prohibited the mission of the evangelical church1-the very purpose of its being: in the future no mission festivals were to be allowed, no collections for missionaries, no support of foreign mission societies. The consistory simply passed the decree on to the pastors. But the synod in 1889 took up this matter which revealed the gulf between the order of the ministry of the interior and the great commission

1 Cf. Kirchengesetz 1832, ed. FREYMANN, § 695ff.




given to the church. It could not accept (1) such an order without reservations (2).

The orders which came out in 1890 cut into the very organization of the evangelical church and its constitution. According to it, the consistory of Riga, Tallinn and Saaremaa were abolished (3) and the number of consistories reduced to two (4). Another order, made by the ministry of the interior, changed the procedure of electing the president of the consistory. This right was taken away from the Landtag. The ministry of the interior now made its nomination to the czar who appointed the man (5). On the top of these orders one promulgated in 1892 went so far as to forbid the community to support the evangelical congregations. The foundation of new congregations was also forbidden. Under these circumstances the church had to find hidden ways of meeting the most urgent needs (6).

All these decrees, orders and ordinances had only one aim - to curtail the rights of the evangelical church and to cut into its activities and life.

The Herrnhut too felt the hard hand of oppression. The Russian authorities having achieved insufficient success in their attempts to spread the Russian orthodox church, branded the work of the movement of the brethren as the main reason for their failure. The governor of Estonia therefore forbade the brethren in 1903 to call deacons from the Herrnhut to serve their cause (7).

1 E. Kaehlbrandt had prepared a document in which it was suggested that

one must refrain from great mission festivals and collections of money in public,

but that the pastors continue to foster missionary spirit, cf. E. KAEHLBRANDT,

Lebensbild eines livländischen Pastors (Riga 1910), p. 221f.

2 This order was later changed.

3 Cf. R. v. STAËL, in: Baltische Monatsschrift LII (1901), p. 174ff.

4 The consistory of Livonia, which absorbed those of Riga and Saaremaa,

and the consistory of Estonia which absorbed that of Tallinn.

5 Cf. v. STAËL, op. cit., p. 174ff.

6 Since the founding of new congregations was not allowed, the only way

of building a new church was by setting it up as filial institution to already

existing congregations. In order to do this, collections and private gifts and

donations were used.

7 The refusal to confirm the supervisors appointed by the leadership of the

Herrnhut prevented them from taking over their duties. They suffered much

under the oppression. Cf. J. DUNKEL, Herrnhuti ev. vennaste koguduse

kahesaja aaslase tegevuse ülevaade (Tallinn 1929), p. 41ff.





On the other hand the Russian orthodox propaganda was intensified in every possible way. It had been already discovered that there was little gain without some allurement, whether in the form of promises or some sort of material gain. Therefore, the orthodox priests eagerly explored new means in this direction and proposed the division of some crown estates located close to orthodox churches for distribution among their churches, the priests and the members of the orthodox congregations. This maneuver was clever, indeed, especially in this respect that it set wild rumors into circulation which nourished all kinds of hopes.

A stronger movement for recruitment to the Russian orthodox church was started in Lihula. Here, too, the bait of material gain was part of the game. As a result, in the summer and autumn of 1883 in Lihula and its surroundings more than 2,000 went over to the Russian orthodox church. The parish Lihula was founded in the following year (1). In Tallinn there were no conversions at first. A sudden sweep occurred in 1887, when 1,122 persons went over to the Russian orthodox church. But this disappeared almost as quickly as it emerged (2). In some places in the country there was also some excitement (3).

In other places the results were meager in spite of the fact that the notorious Russian governor of North Estonia, S. V. Chakhovskoi, a very resolute advocate of an active policy of russification, vigorously fostered propaganda and recruitment in every way. Within 10 years only 18 new orthodox congregations were established. This is, indeed, a very poor balance when one considers all the efforts and the great sums of money which had been made available for the erection of the Russian orthodox churches and schoolhouses. The most outstanding of these efforts was the founding of a convent for nuns4 and the erection of the Russian orthodox church (5) on the cathedral mount in Tallinn. Its main intention was demonstrative - to bring a dissonance into the silhouette constituted by the slim towers of Tallinn. The motives

1 Cf. Baltische Monatsschrift XLII (1895), p. 467ff.

2 In the following years only about 50 converts came to the Russian orthodox

congregation, and after 1892 only 8-13 annually.

3 So in Laiuse in 1884/5; see KÕPP, Laiuse kihelkonna ajalugu, p. 250.

4 The monastery of Pühtitsa in Virumaa.

5 The church of Alexander Nevski was consecrated in 1900.




of its erection are stated boldly in an appeal by the committee for the erection of the church: it was not to be envisaged as a house of God, but as a demonstration of Russian power to be seen from the land and from the sea (1). At the end of the century the balance of all these propaganda efforts, means of proselytizing, allurements and material advantages proved to be far beyond all expectations (2).

The Russian orthodox church became an agent in the process of russification and a very important part in this adventure was entrusted to its hands. It had to carry out this task on every front. One needs to be introduced here: at any price it wanted to retain in the Russian fold every person over whom it had control. Its hunger to hold them must have been extreme judging from the fact that it did not shrink back from degrading spectacles.

In order to put an end to the movement (3) of the rebellious sheep who exposed the Russian orthodox church in such a painful manner, drastic steps were undertaken. The secret decree of 1865 was annulled. Since according to the law it was impossible to leave the orthodox church, then according to the letter of the law all those who had left the Russian orthodox church were still regarded members of the Russian church. The decree of Alexander III, issued on July 26, 1885, stated this to be the case and that it had to be so. The 'reversal' became mandatory again, even with a retroactive effect. The fuss which resulted could not have been more complete. Those who had for twenty years or more belonged to the evangelical church were reclaimed by the Russians. Most of them had had nothing to do with the Russians and their priests - they were instructed in the evangelical tradition, confirmed in the Lutheran rite and perhaps even baptized according to the evangelical way and in most cases had never set foot in a Russian orthodox church. A situation was created which was unbearable (4). Marriages, consecrated by evangelical pastors, be-

1 K. TIISIK, История Ревелскаго Преображенскаго co6opa (Reval 1896),p. 228.2 At the end of the century the numerical strength of the Russian orthodoxchurch in South Estonia, was 124,898; in North Estonia it was 21,931, all in 102congregations.

3 See page 203f.

4 About various coercive measures and the imprisonment of parents having

baptized their children according to the evangelical rite, see M. STEPHANY,

Konversion und Rekonversion in Livland (Riga 1931) = AbhHGHI VI, 8, p. 47ff.



came invalid and children born out of these marriages, illegitimate. This meant nothing to the Russians and their czar (1). The czar listened only to his congenial advisors (2).

As a result, many pastors became liable for religious acts which they had performed many years ago. New accusations and lawsuits were put on the agenda. For more effective trouble-making, the prosecution was taken away from the consistories and the lawsuits referred to ordinary courts which since the advent of russification, were occupied by Russian judges. They did what they were supposed to do. Pastors were dismissed from office, heavy fines were levied against them, and others were sentenced to hard labor in Siberia.

Once again church organizations in the Western world could not abandon their fellow Christians. Their solidarity is exemplified by various actions, momoranda and protests which they undertook (3). However, this time they could do nothing (4) which would bring some relief to their severely oppressed fellow believers (5).

With the eager help of M. A. Zinovjev, governor of Livonia, court proceedings were launched against 105 pastors. In the period of 1884-1894, 199 pastors were under prosecution in Livonia. In 1894, 85 pastors were stricken with prosecution (6). Finally, almost all the pastors were involved in the courts. The consequences of this procedure could be foreseen - it would have led to the liquidation of all the pastoral activities. This was interpieted as a matter that seriously involved the order of the country creating chaos in the Russian style. This became finally too much even for the Russians and the proceedings were stopped in most cases with a manifesto issued on the day of the coronation of Nicholas II. It finally ended all these follies.

1 When the unbearable situation created by his decrees was presented to the

czar, his word of wisdom was - that he could not care less!

2 The czar listened only to the governor of Livonia, Zinovjev, and above all to

the chief-prosecutor of the Holy Synod, C. Pobedonoszev. Cf. also H. DALTON,

Offenes Sendschreiben an den Oberproktireur . . . K. Pobedonoscev (Leipzig 1889).

3 Cg. Evangelical Christendom (1888), p. 230ff.; (1889), p. 95ff.

4 TORMA, 'Tribulations of the Lutheran Church', p. 209f.

5 Cf. also J. VON HEHN, Die baltische Frage zur Zeif Alexanders III in Äusse-

rungen der deutschen Öffentlichkeit (Marburg 1953) = WBzGLOM IX.

6 In Livonia 80 pastors and in North Estonia 5 pastors, cf. Mitteilungen und

Nachrichten L (1894), p. 270.






However great the losses, the drunken Russian savagery (1) could not crush the yearning for cultural life and freedom. Since cultural life and freedom are the very substance of the Estonians' existence, they carved out their ways even under impossible conditions.

The inventiveness of the leading personalities in this situation is illustrative of the point just made. Hurt countered very skillfully the intended stroke when he issued his famous appeal which mobilized about 1,000 coworkers for the action of gathering of the folkloristic traditions (2). In fact what thereby took place helped to a certain extent to balance the losses by the inception of a new epoch which mustered inner strength and energy through an active participation in resuscitating the treasury of the nation's spiritual creation. Such was the importance of this legacy that all the attempts of russifi cation could not prevail against it. Involvement in the revival of such a legacy was a spiritual, ethical and cultural enrichment which revealed the Estonians' superiority over the Russians and their brutal ways.

The endeavors of this tireless man inspired worthy successors. The realm of national ideology received a new bearer in the person of Villem Reiman (3). Already as a student he fell under the spell of Hurt and his later relations with this man deepened his attachment. Under Hurt's influence Reiman's world outlook and philosophy of life ripened making him a worthy successor. His whole life was devoted to a passionate service for the strengthening and deepening of his people in the recognition of the life they were to live in their own way, abiding consciously in the ancestral traditions for the furtherance of their moral self-consciousness.

Reiman's activities encompassed a wider range than that of Hurt's, involving educational life on a larger scale. He was tireless in creating new cultural organizations, societies and associations for promoting intellectual life in local communities, and in founding libraries and

1 About the manifestations of this pandemonium, see UUSTALU, The History

of Estonian People, p. 136ff.

2 Cf. K. KROHN, Übersicht liter die wissenschaftliche Tätigkeit des Pastors

Dr.Jakob Hurt (St. Petersburg 1904).

3 March 8, 1861-May 25, 1917.




giving inspiration for other activities in the interest of this undertaking. Through his initiative a new method was undertaken of resuscitating activities which had been extinguished (1). Among others a very important organization (2) was founded in which leadership fell on his shoulders for several years.

In another respect Reiman moved beyond the range of interest and activity of his great example. While Hurt devoted all his energies to the furtherance of education Reiman extended his attention also to the economic and social spheres. The ubiquitous Reiman was tireless in creating organizations and institutions vital for the improvement of the life of the people.

In fact, the range of Reiman's concern knew no limits. Very great is the influence he exercized through the academic fraternity, the Society of the Estonian Students (3). While yet a student at the university he aided in the founding of this society (4) and became one of its leading men. Through this important society Reiman began to develop those activities (5) which were to secure their place in the history of the intellectual culture of the Estonians. Through his manysided activities he was able to inspire the growing body of academic youth with loyalty to the people and to the service of their needs. By this he made a very

deep impact on his generation of intellectuals at the University of Tartu. In this respect the Society of the Estonian Students has earned very great merits in the cultural history of the Estonians (6).

The service Reiman wanted to offer knew no limits. Very deep was his impact in the realm of religious thought (7). In the night of russification and under the heel of the Russian gendarmerie Reiman mustered forces of spiritual strength among the indigenous clergy. These were able to widen and deepen spiritual life, to contribute to the enrichment of life, by the engendering new streams of vitality which were directed

1 Eesti Kirjameeste Selts (Society of the Estonian Writers) was liquidated

by the Russians.

2 Eesti Kirjanduse Selts (Society of the Estonian Literature).

3 Eesti Üliõpilaste Selts.

4 KÕPP, Eesti Üliõpilaste Seltsi ajalugu I, p. 70ff.

5 Here he founded a publication series of which he became the editor.

6 Cf. A. GRONBEHG, 'Eesti vanad seltsid. Eesti Oliopilaste Seltsi osa

eestivanimate kultuuriliste seltside hulgas' in: Eesti Üliõpilaste Selts

100 aastat: 1870-1970, ed. A. GRÖNBEBG (Toronto 1971), p. 175ff.

7 See page 229f.




against the ever imminent sentiments of resignation aroused by the mania of russification.

Reiman was able to set the landmarks of his cultural work even beyond this already vast territory. In his fight against the spirit of resignation he sought out men of congenial mind1 in the Society of the Estonian Students, thereby creating a kernel for a new moral and national rise. The most eminent among them was Jaan Tõnnisson who became the advocate of the symbiosis of moral and national thought (2). This was accomplished through the acquisition of an important newspaper (3), an organ which now became the focal center for the national and spiritual regeneration. Reiman became the most influential guide and principal and the decisive authority for the entire team in all educational, cultural and national issues. On account of the dangerous situation and the ever vigilant gendarmerie, he was able to pursue this mission only by dealing indirectly with the issues of national and political ideology, while concentrating heavily on the questions of education, intellectual culture and social justice.

Because of his selfless and consecrated life, his love for his people, and the stimuli which emanated from him, he became one of the greatest men in the history of the Estonian people.

1 Dr. Oskar Kallas, Dr. Helnrich Koppel and Jaan Tõnnisson.

2 It is typical of the way of thinking that Tõnnisson emphasized the ethical

personality as the foundation of democracy. Strict justice appears here as an

integral part of democracy.

3 This group in 1896 obtained one of the oldest newspapers, Postimees, and

gathered around it other idealistically inspired men.




The letters õ, ä, ö and ü stand at the end of the Estonian alphabet

Adamson, J. 170, 213

Agricola, C. M. 3, 6

Ahrens, E. 54

Alexander I 158f., 214

Alexander II 169, 204, 214, 220

Alexander III 207, 242, 247

Arndt, J. G. 02, 132

Arvelius, F. G. 149

Aspe, E. 218

Ayrmann, H. M. 85

Barlach, J. K. 142

Beck, G. J. 126. 132

Beckers, J. 49

Behrends, M. 69, 90

Balodis, D. 199f.

Berg, K. E. 149

Bergius, N. 61

Bergmann, J. 217f.

Berthold, J. D. 60, 66

Bieck, C. E. 101

Biefer, F. W. A. 107f., 139

Blankenhagen, S. 53

Bobrinski, A. 203

Boecler, J. W. 46

Bohn, H. von 128

Bonge, J. 141

Bonwetsch, N. 225

Bornhöhe, E. 218

Boubrig, J. S. F. 189

Brendeken, J. C. 51, 98

Brocmann, R. 56, 60

Browne, G. 147

Bruiningk, F. J. 142

Bunyan, J. 132

Cahl, B. 91, 93

Calixtus, J. 90

Callenberg, J. H. 67, 76, 91

Carl XI 1f., 14, 27, 48, 51, 69, 75

Catherine II 157f.

Cimze, J. 184

Chakhovskoi, S. V. 246

Clare, J. C. 99

Crüger, T. 76

Dachstein, W. 53

Dahlberg, E. G. 33

Dahlbergh, J. 75

David, C. 103, 105

Derfeldt, J. 92

Dubberch, D. 3, 10

Eisen, J. G. 154, 156

Eisen, M. J. 222f., 227, 236,239

Eisenschmidt, W. 228

Elblingh, C. 54

Elizabeth, Empress 105, 141

Embken, J. M. 36

Engelhardt, M., von 225

Eric XIV 12

Ewald, J. 158

Fabricius,II. 54

Freilinghausen, H. 73, 87, 89, 95

Ferber, A. 50

Filaret 198f.

Fischer, J. 3, 7, 27, 29, 33f.,



51f., 56, 60, 63ff., 68f., 72, 93, 99. 104, 120, 142

Fleming, P. 56

Foerster, E. 122

Foerster, J. H. 122, 126, 132

Forselius, B. G. 7, 27ff., 30ff., 37ff., 46, 58f., 63, 99

Francke, A. H. 69f., 71f., 76,

86f., 88f., 91, 93

Freundlich, O. W. 186

Frey, P. H., von 149

Freyer, B. 24

Freyer, J. 47

Fritzsche, J. G. 121, 143

Fählmann, F. R. 168, 178ff., 184f., 188ff., 190f., 201, 216

Folkersahm, H., von 166

Gardie, J. M. G., de la 7

Gernet, J. F. 101

Gerth, J. H. 24, 28, 31, 56

Gezelius, J. 3, 26f.

Gilde, B. 26

Gildemann, B. 186

Giläus, M. 56

Glück, E. 75

Grenzstein, A. 224

Gräven, A. 108

Gustavus II Adolphus 1, 13, 42

Gutslaff, J. C. 46, 49, 57f., 62,70

Gutsleff, E. 70, 97, 99f.

Gutsleff, E., (Junior) 108, 134f.,141,143

Gutsleff, H. 72ff., 76, 84, 86,89f., 91ff., 95f., 98ff., 101

Göseken, H. 56, 58, 63

Haava, A. 217

Harnack, T. 104, 225

Hasse, M. F. 126

Hastfer, J. J. 7, 28ff., 31ff.

Hauboldt, J. J. 234

Heidrich, A. 64ff.

Heitzig, H. J. 95

Helle, A. 95, 97, 99ff.

Helvigius, J. 9, 62

Henno, H. 170

Herbers, U. J. 91

Herder, J. G. 150

Hermann, K. A. 206, 222

Hirschhausen, J. A. 94, 112

Hjärn, T. 45

Hoffmann, F. C. 127, 132, 231

Holmquist, I. 90

Holter, A. 148, 151

Holtz, O. R., von 149, 182

Horn, J. 15

Hornung, J. 20f., 31, 59ff., 63,


Hueck, A. F. 189

Hupel, A. W. 111, 122, 137, 150

Hurt, J. 206f., 209f., 213, 221ff., 224f., 227, 229, 238, 249f.

Höltershof, F. 91, 108, 143

Hönn, P. 92

Hövel, E. D. 89

Ignati Jaak 33

Ignatius, M. 108, 129, 132, 142

Ihering, J. 3, 6, 26, 35, 62

Irinarch, 194ff., 198

Jaan Mölder 80

Jakobson, C. R. 205f., 209, 211, 215

Jannsen, J. V. 169, 180, 186, 205, 208, 215, 217

Jannau, J., von 154

Jervitson, A. 151

Johnson-Hantwig, J. 169, 188, 190

Järv, J. 218

Jürgenson, D. H. 168, 188

Kallas, O. 251

Kallas, R. G. 225, 229, 239

Karell, Ph. J. 220

Kelch, C. 3, 32, 34, 77f., 79

Kitzberg, A. 219

Klopstock, F. G. 185

Knopken, A. 53

Koidula, L. 217


Koppel, H. 251Kreutzwald, F. R. 168, 178ff., 184f., 188f., 191f., 209, 216, 224Krügelstein, D. S. 143Kuhlbars, F. 217Kulli Jüri, 133, 151Kunder, J. 218

Kurrikoff, A. 229

Kuusma, J. 106

Kvacala, J. 225

Kõpp, J. 230

Kõranda Kaarel 151

Kö1er, J. J. 101, 169L, 188, 190, 209, 214, 220

Königseer, C. M. 126, 130, 132, 145f.

Körber, C. 186

Kübara Jaan 151

Laakmann, H. 186Laaland, C. 228, 233ff., 238f.

Lange, J. 94

Langius, J. 22

Leinberg, J. 232

Lichton, R. 14f.

Liiv, Jakob, 217f.

Liiv, Juhan 219

Loder, J. 103

Lorenzsonn, F. C. 186

Luce, J. W. L., von 149f.

Ludwig, H. H. 96

Luther, M. 53, 64f.

Lönnrot, E. 166, 179, 188

Mancelius, G. 45

Manassein, N. A. 224

Mango Hans 129, 132

Mango Jaak 132

Marrasch, J. 126, 145, 157

Marrasch, M. E. 157

Masing, J. R. 132Masing, O. W. 71, 149, 152, 180, 182

Mayer, J. F. 70, 76

McIlvaine, J. 204

Menius, F. 43ff.

Merkel, G. H. 155f., 168

Metzold, J. Q. 89

Meuseler, J. 25

Mickwitz, G. F. 72, 74, 84, 87, 90f., 107, 139L, 143f.

Michelson, L. 217, (see Koidula)

Middendorff, J. 95

Milde, H. 89, 113

Milton, J. 185

Mohrfeldt. A. 239

Moulin, M., de 60

Mõtus, A. 210

Mäletu Jaan 151

Nauhaus, S. 74, 87, 92, 138

Nerman, J. 239

Neuhausen, C. G. 70, 72, 74. 76

Neumann, J. 199

Neus, H. 191f.

Nicholas I 165, 220

Nicholas II 248

Nieroth, M. W., von 87

Nigol, A. 239f.

Nocks, J. J. 168

Nolcken, G., von 168,189

Oettingen, A., von 225

Olearius, A. 56, 85

Oldekop, G. A. 153

Oxenstierna, A. 1

Pahlen, K. M., von der 194

Papperitz, C. F. 119

Peter I. 66, 141Peter III, 154Peterson, A. 170, 214

Peterson, K. J. 178, 185, 188

Peterson, P. 170, 214

Petri, J. C. 155

Pflug, J. 91

Plaschnig, T. 91

Pobedonoszev, C. 248

Preussius, G. 3

Põdder, M. 218

Pärn, J. 218

Quandt, J. C. 84, 105, 120f., 126ff., 132, 142



Raicus, J. 42

Raudjal, A. 129, 132

Rauschert, G. P. 99

Reiman, V. 223, 225, 229f.,249f.

Rein, E. 125

Reinwald, A. 217

Reussner, C. 50

Renter, J. 47

Rohr, D. J. 72

Rosen, O. F., von 80, 108

Rosen, R., von 123

Rosenplänter, J. H. 54f., 148f., 151f., 190

Russeau, J. J. 155

Rossihnius, J. 54, 57

Roth, J. P., von 148, 153

Rublach, J. 34

Russow, F. N. 169

Saal, A. 218

Saarlase Peeter 146

Salemann, G. 56

Salemann, J. 3, 61

Samson, H. 3, 10

Sarapuu, M. 135

Scharschmiedt, J. S. 67

Schenking, O. 13

Schirren, C. 47, 213, 241

Schmahlenbergh, J. J. 66

Schott, W. 192

Schreiber, J. G. 127, 132

Schultz-Bertram, G. J. 191

Schröder, G. 52

Schubert, H. 108, 129

Schwartz, J. G. 184

Schwartzenberg, von, see Eisen

Schünmann, J. G. 186

Seeberg, A. 225

Seeberg, R. 225

Sheremetiev 48, 79

Sielemann, J. 142

Sigismund Augustus 80

Simon, A. 50

Skragge, G. 36, 78

Skytte, J. 4 Iff.

Sommelius, G. 43

Sommer, J. 186

Sonntag, K. G. 147

Spangenberg, A. G. 132, 157

Spener, P. J. 68, 73

Speratus, P. 53

Spreckelsen, I. 142

Staden, C. G., von 114, 135

Stahl, H. 10, 19, 52ff., 56ff., 59, 61, 64

Stalenus, C. 11

Stegeling, C., von 16

Strömfeldt, G. A. 29

Suburg, L. 217

Sutor, A. 99, 114, 142

Swahn, L. 157

Säbelmann, F. A. 206

Sööt, K. E. 217

Tallima Paap 106, 118, 122, 139, 146

Tamm, J. 217f.

Treffner, H. H. F. 212, 226, 229

Treijar, P. 124, 133, 135

Tobias, R. 206

Tõnnisson, J. 251

Ulmann, C. C. 162, 211

Uumann, J. 123

Vasa, G. 13

Veske, M. 175, 217, 221

Vestrin, H. 55

Vestring, J. 26, 61

Vick, C. H. 70

Vierorth, A. A. 74, 108, 139, 142

Vilde, E. 219

Virginius, A. 35, 60f., 63f., 66, 101

Vogels, J. 49

Volck, W. 225

Voltaire 155

Walter, A. C. F. M. 74, 84, 87, 91, 162

Weizenberg, A. L. 220



Westphal, H. 50

Wiedemann, F. J. 221, 223

Wilcken, J. 51

Wilde, P. E. 150

Willmann, F. W., von 149

Windekilde, M. H. 123, 131

Wirkhaus, T. 125

Winckler, A. 57

Winkler. J. A. 96

Wrede, H. C. 70, 87f., 95. 99, 101

Wolf, F. A. 152

Zimmermann, J. A. 142, 144

Zimse, J., see Cimze

Zinovjev, M. A. 248

Zinzendorf, Countess 105, 141

Zinzendorf, L., von 103, 108, 110, 126, 128, 131, 157

Vööbus ##258-259



Abhazia 239

Adzel 22

Arhangel 67

Astrahan 67

Balta Baznica 69, 90

Baltic Sea 30

Barby 126f.

Basel 127

Bavaria 154

Berlin 74, 87, 91, 93, 119, 192, 206

Beshkovo 234ff.

Black Sea 239

Bohemia 103

Braunschweig 150

Caucasia 232, 240

Cësis 70, 76

Crimea 232, 240

Cronstadt 227, 239

Domkino 234f., 236

England 127

Erfurt 155

Europe 12, 156, 171, 220

Finland 27f, 39, 55, 79, 166, 181, 185,192,223

Friedrichshafen 204

Gatshina 236

Gaujiene 22f.

Gdov 233ff., 236ff.

Germany 42, 55, 68, 79, 105, 125, 127, 130, 149f.

Gottorp 154

Greenland 146

Halle 67ff., 71, 74, 76, 84, 86f., 89ff.. 92, 94, 97, 108, lllf., 138, 143, 152

Hannover 56

Helsinki 222, 239

Hungary 225

Ingermanland 41, 47, 53, 227

Jamburg 234, 236

Jaroslav 240

Jelgava 154

Jena 150, 154, 188

Karelia 41

Kasan 143, 221

Königsberg 103

Kostroma 240

Kurland 108

Lake Constance 204

Latvia 47, 52, 69, 71, 75, 93, 103, 105, 109, 141, 146f., 151, 158, 160, 194, 199

Leipzig 221 f.

Lemsal 70

London 220

Luga, South 236

Lübeck 56



Magdeburg 127

Mecklenburg 56

Mjasnikova Gora 236, 238

Moscow 67, 143. 154, 200

Novgorod 233, 236

Nürnberg 42

Ohio 204

Paris 220

Perm 240

Persia 56

Petroskoi 227

Philadelphia 220

Pommern 44, 56ff., 60, 70

Poland 13, 225

Prigorod Krasnyj 231

Pskov 195, 197, 199, 231, 236

Ramda 231

Riga 10, 15, 28, 37. 40, 42, 51f., 59ff., 70. 78, 103, 139, 194f., 198, 202, 214, 245

Russia 2, 66f., 77ff., 80f., 127, 141, 170, 173, 193f., 214, 221, 227, 231ff.. 235f., 241

Samara 232

Samolva 236

Saratov 232

Scandinavia 12

Shvaretz 234f.

Slovakia 225

Siberia 196, 214, 232, 240, 248

Silantskiy 236

Stettin 70

Stockholm 6, 9, 29, 50f., 56f., 60

Stolbova 53

St. Petersburg 74, 80, 87, 91, 165, 168ff., 190, 192ff., 196ff., 206t., 213, 220, 223, 231, 234ff., 238ff.

Strjäkovo 234, 236

Sweden 1ff., 6ff., 12ff., 25ff., 39f., 41ff., 55f., 77, 80

Thüringen 57, 150, 155

Trankebar 91

Turku 46

Uppsala 42

Uusikaupunki 80

Valmiera 70, 76, 105, 108, 125, 139, 151, 184

Vienna 220

Vjatka 240

Vologda 240

Voshkovo 235

Vytshkovo 236

Weimar 150

Zadorje 235f.


Vööbus Studies in the History of the Estonian People, Vol. III



Albu 87f.

Alam Linda (in Russia) 239

Alutaguse 53, 77

Anseküla 90, 208

Erastvere 145

Jaani 127

Jamaja 108

Juuru 96

Jõhvi 208

Järva-Jaani 96

Järvamaa 53, 181, 185

Järva-Madise 34

Jüri 65, 100

Halliku 181

Halliste 149

Hargla 22f., 59, 89

Harju-Jaani 70, 88

Harjumaa 53, 57, 185

Harju-Madise 27, 35, 46

Hiiumaa 18, 117. 145

Holstre 169f., 213

Häädemeeste 32

Kaarma 211, 243

Kadrina 53, 56

Kaisma 23

Kambja 33, 60, 99, 105, 114, 132, 142, 201, 239

Kandla 181

Kanepi 105, 145, 148

Karja 20, 149

Karula 22, 57, 59

Keila 149

Kihelkonna 72, 78

Koeru 96

Koiküla 22

Kolga-Jaani 228f.

Kriimani 104f., 107

Kullamaa 88f., 91f., 98, 145

Kuressaare 25, 36, 78, 91, 108, 151,211

Kõnnu 23

Kärgu 23

Laatre 57

Laiuse 36, 154

Lannametsa 22

Lihula 246

Lohusuu 152, 154

Lääne-Harju 149, 182

Läänemaa 36, 107, 145, 157, 181

Lüganuse 152

Mahtra 167

Maidla 145

Muhu 78

Muhumaa 212

Mustjala 78

Mõniste 195

Narva 26, 52L, 67, 70, 77, 91, 152, 233f.

Noarootsi 35

Nõo 228

Otepää 59f., 99, 206

Paistu 169



Palupera 33Passlepa 211Peipsi 193, 231Petseri 191Piiskopimõisa 29Pilistvere 21f., 66Puhja 60Pulleritsu 213Punase Lageda (in Russia) 239Põltsamaa 15, 59, 150Põlva 105, 154, 184, 206Pärnu 19, 21, 23ff., 26, 37, 39, 48, 51f., 61, 70f., 76, 78, 91, 148, 151, 168, 183, 203, 206

Pärnumaa 24, 174, 201, 207

Püha 119, 143, 145, 149

Pühajärve 168, 196

Pühalepa 18

Pühtitsa 246

Rakvere 26, 132, 168Rannu 146Risti 35, 46Rogosi 195Rõngu 20

Rõuge 32, 105f., 146

Räpina 193

Saarde 32

Saaremaa 5, 11, 16, 31, 36, 70, 78, 89, 108, 117, 123, 127, 132, 134, 140f., 142ff., 145, 149f., 157, 201, 208, 211f., 245

Sakala 214

Salme (in Russia) 239

Sangaste 36, 57, 99

Sauga 148

Seidla 88

Sulev (in Russia) 239

Suure-Jaani 70

Taivakülla 22

Tailova 193Tallinn 25f., 39, 41, 48, 50ff., 56f., 59, 61f., 64f., 70ff.. 73f., 76, 78, 82, 87, 90, 94ff., 101, 103, 107f., 111f., 138f., 142, 191, 206, 228, 234, 245f.Tartu 2, 21, 26, 29, 33f., 36, 39, 41ff., 45ff.. 48ff., 51, 54, 56f., 67, 71, 75, 77f., 91, 105, 108, 126, 129, 139, 143, 148, 151f., 169, 183, 186, 188, 190, 193, 206, 208f., 211, 213f., 221, 228, 239, 250

Tartumaa 104, 123, 125, 152, 185, 196, 200

Tarvastu 70, 169, 214

Toompea 90

Tori 151

Torma 154,207

Tõstamaa 54

Upa 108, 135Urvaste 46, 58f., 84, 105, 108, 120, 126, 128f.Ülem Linda (in Russia) 239

Valjala 145Valk 26, 184Vigala 57, 101, 181Viljandi 183, 203, 206f., 214Viljandimaa 125, 169, 174, 179, 190, 196, 220Viru-Jakobi 3

Virumaa 77, 107, 181, 185, 208, 246

Viru-Nigula 149, 152

Võnnu 105

Võru 183

Võrumaa 123, 196

Vändra 207

Värska 193

Äksi 21, 152, 227

Vööbus: Studies in the History of the Estonian People



Aarne, A. 222

Aavik, J. 208

Adamovics, L. 103, 142

Adson, A. 206

Ahrens, E. 188

Arens, I. 231, 233, 236f., 240

Akiander, M. 232

Annist, A. 185

Arbusow, L. 10

Ann, K. 79

Aunver, J. 100

Beise, T. 56

Bienemann, F. 77

Bilmanis, A. 200, 226

Boretius, J. V. 32

Buchholtz, A. 44, 193, 200

Buddenbrock, G. J., von 10, 26, 31

Buddeus, A. 199

Busch, E. H. 231f.

Cederberg, A. R. 51, 153

Christiani, A. 105, 119

Dalton, II. 147, 248

Devoto, G. 219

Dunkel, J. 245

Döbner, A. 134,158

Eckhardt, J. 129

Eichenfeld, P. 196f.

Einbund, K. 240

Eisen, M. J. 7, 223

Fabricius, C. 114f.Frey, J. 193Freymann, I. 244Fählmann, F. R. 190f.

Gernet, A., von 39, 94, 232f., 234, 236

Gezelius, J. 45

Girgensohn, K. 225

Grenzstein. A. 230

Grönberg, A. 250

Hahn, T. 225

Hansen, G. O. 181

Harless, G. C. A., von 200

Harnack, T. 104, 107. 119f., 134, 137, 139ff., 143f., 158, 160

Harris, E. H. 184,216

Hausmann, R. 100

Heckscher, E. 12

Hehn, J., von 248

Hurt, J. 222

Inno, K. 44, 47

Jackson, J. H. 242

Jannau, H. G., von 201

Juhkentaal, J. 67

Jänes, H. 184, 216

Jürgenson. D. H. 189f.

Jürgenstein, A. 207

Kaehlbrandt, E. 245

Kahle, W. 200, 238f.

Kallas, A. 217



Kallas, 0. 222, 231

Kallas, R. G. 115

Kampmaa, M. 40

Kangro, B. 42

Kangro-Pool, R. 218

Karell, Ph. J. 220

Keussler, F., von 4, 32

Kirby, W. F. 216

Kirschfeldt, J. 147

Koch, G. 26

Koolmeister, R. 3

Kramer, G. 67

Kreutzwald. F. R. 191f.

Kroeger, G. 201

Krohn, J. 223

Krohn, K. 249

Kruse, F. 191

Kruus, H. 111,194,196,201,224

Kruusberg, A. 223, 232

Kurman, G. 59

Kõpp, J. 11. 20, 33, 36, 39, 46, 64, 162, 174, 210, 225f., 230, 246

Körber, E. 11

Körber, M. 208

Köstner, N. 173, 232

Lehtonen, A. 3

Lender, H. 210.

Lepik, M. 37

Liiv, O. 13, 39

Liljedahl, R. 1

Lipp, M. 220

Loorits, O. 121. 178, 222

Martna, M. 164

Mägi, A. l84, 216

Möller, A. 74

Müller, G. F. 26, 55, 154

Napiersky, E. C. 54, 56

Neander, I. 117

Nerling, M. 160

Nigol, A. 240

Nottbeck, E., von 25

Ojamaa, M. 177

Oras, A. 219

Palm, K. 232

Pleijel, H. 68

Perandi, A. 16

Plitt, H. 107, 120f., 124, 145f.

Puksov. F. 50f.

Põ1d. P. 29, 38, 212

Põldmäe, R. 118. 122, 124, 126f., 129ff., 133, 158

Raud, M. 115

Rauch, G., von 47, 75, 147

Raun, A. 188

Recke, J. F., von 56

Reiman, V. 26, 29, 54f., 66, 100

Ritschl, A. 68

Rosenthal, H. 205

Rousset de Missey, J. 80

Russwurm, C. 117

Ruut, K. 27Saar, M. 105Saareste, A. 66, 108, 147, 188

Samarin, J. 195

Salomies, I. 67

Salu, H. 57, 99, 128

Sass, P. 123

Schirren, C. 241

Schmid, J. 101

Schreinert, K. 85

Schrenck, E., von 119, 136,159, 161, 201, 204, 225

Sederholm, K. 76

Semel, H. 225

Sepp, H. 77

Sild, O. 70, 106, 114, 118. 122, 148,158,211,243

Soom, A. 13, 16

Speer, H. 212

Spekke, A. 45, 200

Staël, R., von 245

Stepermanis, M. 154

Stephany, M. 247

Stieda, W. 50

Stupperich, R. 201

Stählin, H. 5

Suits, G. 53, 99, 129, 149, 178, 185

Sväbe, A. 164


Taska, A. 208

Thimme, H. 136

Thomson, E. 216

Tiisik, K. 247

Tobien, A., von 164, 204Torma, A. 204, 243, 248

Treumuth, N. 13

Tuglas, F. 209, 217

Uluots, J. 172, 232

Uuspuu, V. 10

Uustalu, E. 16, 80, 111, 175, 249

Vaga, A. 220

Varmas, A. 177

Varmas, T. 177

Vasar, J. 4, 16, 41f.

Vasmer, M. 233

Vinkel, A. 97, 130

Vööbus, A. 47, 101, 111. 116, 118, 224, 226

Webermann, O. A. 67, 93, 103, 148

Weiss, H. 53

Westling, G. O. F. 1, 4. 35, 40, 61, 63, 98

Westrén-Doll, A. 5

Wiedemann, F. J. 57, 147, 223

Wiegand, F. 119

Wieselgren, G. 28Wihkninsch, N. 110Winkler, R. 1, 3, 34, 96

Winter, E. 67, 88, 185Wittram, R. 5, 147, 160, 201

Zimmermann, F. 70



Vööbus: Studies in the History of the Estonian People, part IIICONTENTS

PREFACE ........... ix








1. SCHOOLS ......... 25






2. ITS SIGNIFICANCE ....... 45



2. THE FIRST PERIOD ....... 53







2. ATTRACTION ........ 69

3. DIFFICULTIES ........ 75











1.BEGINNINGS ....103





2. ETHICAL RENEWAL ....... 121

















2. EDUCATION ........ 181

3. LITERATURE ........ 184





2. THE OFFENSIVE ....... 197







4. LITERATURE ...... 215











INDEX OF NAMES ........ 253



INDEX OF AUTHORS ........ 262