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L. von Rohden: Excerpts from The History of the Rhenish Missionary Society (1857)

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and enthusiastic men. From them came the decision to establish themselves as an auxiliary association for the Basel Missionary Society, and initially to support one of the missionaries-in-training there through local contributions. The teacher Roßhoff became president, Herr Abr. Siebel became treasurer; Leipoldt assumed the modest position of secretary, but in fact he was the soul of the whole enterprise. All of Barmen was now divided into a number of troops or districts, and the members or directors of the society took on the task of holding an annual door-to-door collection in each district. Through a special invitation, friends in the neighboring cities were called upon to join the Barmen society. So-called outside directors were appointed, and soon the incoming donations and gifts were so substantial that instead of one, no fewer than three missionaries-in-training in Basel could be supported from here; one of them was young Saltet from Cologne, who later did such blessed work in Georgia in the Caucasus. And after the required sum had been sent off to Basel, so much was left in the treasury already in the very first years that substantial gifts could be made to the Moravians, the Halle Missionary Institute, and the Jänicke Seminary. The rising, enterprising spirit of thriving Barmen, the fighting spirit and the happy hope for victory of the communities reawakened from a long strain and slumber were also so dominant in the small society, the youthful energy of the most outstanding members was so eager for work of their own, that one could not be content here with collecting and sending out contributions with regular meetings and the dissemination of missionary writings. After the excellent president had died in the fall of 1823 and pastor Sander, who was at the time in the prime of his youthful energy, had taken his place, missionary prayer hours were immediately begun, smaller associations of maids and manservants, of young men and unmarried women were set up, and with their modest contributions, the income nearly doubled. In 1824, the society even ventured to come forward by celebrating a public missionary festival – at the time an entirely unheard-of innovation, for which the committee almost believed it had to apologize to the friends.

As the Lord was then visibly blessing and promoting the society in all these things, with cheerful trust in his future blessing, it took even more vigorous steps forward, and in 1825 conceived the plan for two endeavors whose fruits we are still enjoying today. For it established the Barmen Missionary Magazine [Missionsblatt], first published at the beginning of 1826; that same year it circulated in no fewer than 6,000 copies, the following year as many as 12,000, and later it had a printing of 21,000. Who would have dreamed of such success back then, when the small society first deliberated about the great difficulties of such an undertaking, and it was considered questionable to count on the sale of more than 1,000 copies. At that time the society prepared itself for considerable monetary losses, and how many thousands of Talers the magazine has since earned, what blessing has been bestowed by

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