A Short History Of The Missionary Society At Hermannsburg, North Germany -- By: G. Haccius
BSac 45:178 (April 1888) p. 274
A Short History Of The Missionary Society At Hermannsburg, North Germany
Translated by Prof. Charles Harris
[Continued From Page 162]
We now enter upon the second period, the administration of Theodore Harms. Of this period it may be said that success brings cares. The blossom unfolds more and more, but there comes a serious crisis. The Hermannsburg Missionary Society had to meet the question: “Has the blossom unfolded too fast? Can the work be carried on as its quick growth and extension demand?”
Theodore Harms was the natural successor of his brother. He had helped to begin the work; he knew all the missionaries personally and was acquainted with all the necessary details. With a just estimation of this state of affairs, the Consistory appointed him pastor of Hermannsburg. It did so, however, with the condition that he permit the appointment of a collaborator, in order that neither his work as pastor nor his work as director of missions might suffer. Harms
BSac 45:178 (April 1888) p. 275
consented the more willingly, as the mission-inspector, Drewes, who stood in personal relationship to him, was appointed to the position. In consideration of the great prominence of his brother and predecessor, it was with hesitation that Theodore Harms accepted the double office, but, trusting in the power of divine grace, he did it joyfully. He knew that his brother had not been the leader and director of the mission, but God only. He promised to yield entire obedience to Him and to keep the missionary society purely Lutheran, as he had received it. His appointment was received everywhere with joyful approval, and the missionaries especially showed great confidence in him.
In order to keep his brother’s memory alive, and to offer thanksgiving to God for the grace which he had shown them through this his servant, Harms instituted—but only in Hermannsburg—a memorial celebration on the anniversary of his death; and in other ways also he preserved his memory reverently. He conducted the Hermannsburg parish entirely after the manner of his departed brother. The public worship, the missionary festivals, everything, passed off essentially as before. He too recognized the great importance of Christian discipline and customs. He inculcated them from the pulpit, and insisted that the missionaries should do the same among the heathen. “It is our glory,” he said in one of his addresses when commissioning missionaries, “that we consider Christian observances of great worth. There are many Christians who do not value them; we will not imitate them in that respect. It will do no harm, though we are thought to be encouraging a legal spirit in the church. But woe...
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