At the Synod of 1744 they declared that they had room within their borders for three leading tropuses, the Moravian, the Lutheran and the Reformed; and now, within their own ranks, they allow great difference of opinion on doctrinal questions. Meanwhile, of course, they agree on certain points.
At the very time when he placed before the Brethren the noblest and loftiest ideals, he himself had done the most to cause the enemy to blaspheme. No wonder his Tropus idea was laughed to scorn. What sort of home was this, said his critics, that he had prepared for all the Tropuses?
He called the Lutheran Church a tropus; he called the Calvinistic Church a tropus; he called the Moravian Church a tropus; he called the Pilgrim Band a tropus; he called the Memnonites a tropus; and by this word "tropus" he meant a religious school in which Christians were trained for membership in the one true Church of Christ. He would not have one of these tropuses destroyed.
He did not regard any of the Churches of Christ as Churches in this higher sense of the term. He regarded them rather as religious training grounds. He called them, not Churches, but tropuses.
He regarded them all as essential. He honoured them all as means to a higher end. He would never try to draw a man from his tropus. And now he set a grand task before the Brethren. As the Brethren had no distinctive creed, and taught the original religion of Christ, they must now, he said, regard it as their Divine mission to find room within their broad bosom for men from all the tropuses.
If the Count could now have carried out his scheme, he would have had men from various Churches at the head of each tropus in the Church of the Brethren. For the present he did the best he could, and divided the Brethren into three leading tropuses. At the head of the Moravian tropus was Bishop Polycarp Müller; at the head of the Lutheran, first he himself, and then, later, Dr.