Barth, Christian Gottlob

Barth, Christian Gottlob D.D., an eminent German divine and philanthropist, was born at Stuttgart, July 31,1799, obtained his academical education at the Gymnasium there, and from 1817 to 1821 studied theology at Tubingen. He early manifested strong religious feelings, and during all his life kept himself free from the prevailing rationalism. In 1824 he became pastor at Mottlingen, Wurtemberg, and in 1838 retired to Calw, in order to devote himself to the missionary cause, and to the production of books of practical religion, to which objects he had already given much of his attention. He had, with the flourishing missionary institute at Basle, formed the first (Calwer) missionary society in Wurtemberg, published a periodical, "The Calwer Mission Sheet," and was the means of exciting a wide-spread interest in the cause of missions.

From this period his life became still more active, The interests of the mission led him to travel far and near, sometimes to England, to France, and to the interior of Switzerland; and he was brought into friendly relationship with the courts of Wurtemberg, Baden, Bavaria, Austria, Russia, England, Prussia, etc. His house became a sojourn for persons from all parts of the world. He founded a conference of evangelical pastors and a training-school for poor children. Among his multitudinous publications of practical reading, both bor adults and children, are Kinderblatter (Calw, 1836); Christ. Kinderschriften (Stuttg. 4 vols.); Christ. Gedichte (Stutt. 1836); Kirchengeschichte fur Schulen und Familien (Calw, 1835); Biblische Geschichte fur Schulen und Familien. The sale of these books has been unparalleled. Of the Bible History and Bible Stories more than a million copies have been published in ten or twelve languages of the Christian and heathen world. He was also a ready versifier, and wrote many hymns and short poems for children; and several of his hymns, especially those on Missions, have found their way into the later German collections of hymns. In 1838, the University of Tubingen conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Theology. His health was feeble during his later years, but he continued to work up to the last day, and was only induced to lie down about half an hour before his death, Nov. 12, 1862. — Pierer, Universal-Lexicon, s.v.; Herzog, Real-Encyklop. Supp. 1, p. 168.

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