Back to the Louis Harms Page

A.T. Pierson
Assessing Louis Harm's Mission

It would be a long chapter that should trace the apostolic succession from this missionary founder and trainer. Louis Harms is one example—in Hermannsburg, daring to undertake missions on a scale unparalleled in history. Think of this pastor, who over fifty years ago inaugurated in his own church—a church of poor farmers, artisans, peasants, and mechanics—a missionary society, which came to have shortly not only its missions and missionaries, but its own ship, its own magazine, its own training college, its own complete equipment. At the end of thirty-one years, Louis Harms had put into the field and kept there over 350 missionaries, and in ten years more, could praise God for 13,000 converts in the mission churches, while the church at home had grown to unprecedented proportions, and was the largest in the world.
Let us look into his simple diary. "I prayed to the Lord Jesus that He would provide a particular needed sum. Last year, 1857, I needed 1,500 crowns, and the Lord gave me sixty over. This year I needed double, and He has given me double, and one hundred and forty over."
Other, and more recent enterprises—founded and conducted on the same essential basis as Francke's, Müller's, Gossner's, Harms'—need separate treatment. Their one essential principle is that they treat the work as God's, and Him as the responsible founder and administrator; and they lay great stress on two subordinate laws of conduct: First that, as the Scriptures are the express revelation of His will, no methods or measures should be admitted or permitted in His work that are not according to His word; and secondly, that, as the throne of grace is the eternal storehouse of supplies, all appeal for help is to be primarily to God; and that all dependence on man for aid, and especially on direct appeal to man, is practically a departure from the simple, divinely ordained channel of supplies. Such principles as these, vindicated by such practical illustrations, demand, and should receive, careful study by all who seek to work with God.