The Crisis of 1753
The passage of the 1749 Act was the climax of the initial period of the Moravians' history in England. It secured the legal basis for the Moravian Church's future existence and accepted its identity as a church separate from the Church of England. In 1753, however, the Moravian Church suffered a financial collapse that was swiftly followed by the outbreak of a campaign of virulent opposition. The public recognition and favour secured in 1749 gave way to widespread condemnation. Whereas by May 1749 only one bishop (Lavington) had remained opposed to the Moravians, by the time of Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf's final departure from England in 1755 only one (Isaac Maddox) remained a definite supporter. Between November 1750 and early 1752, a spate of English anti-Moravian publications appeared, including one written by Johann Christoph Heinrich Rimius in 1753. Rimius may have been assisted, encouraged, or even inspired by Archbishop Thomas Herring. In December 1754, George Lavington of Exeter entered the lists anonymously with The Moravians Compared and Detected.
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