Harbaugh, Henry

Harbaugh, Henry a prominent minister and writer of the German Reformed Church in the United States, was born Oct. 28,1817, near Waynesborough, Pa. He was descended from a German family, whose name was Herbach, and which had come to this country in 1736 from Switzerland. His father was an elder in the German Reformed Church at Waynesborough. In early youth he manifested a desire to study for the ministry, but his father was unwilling to allow him to do so. He therefore found employment first with a carpenter, and subsequently with a mill-owner. After a time he became teacher in a primary school. The money saved in these positions enabled him to enter in 1840 Marshall College, Mercersburg, which was at that time under the direction of Dr. Nevin. Both the students' societies of Mercersburg College desired to have him a member. "We have many praying members," the Goetheans represented to him; "the others have no religion." For Harbaugh this was a reason to join the other society, that they might have one to do the praying for them. His financial means did not allow him to finish his course in the college and the Theological Seminary. He spent two years in the former and one in the latter, and, having passed his examination, became in 1843 pastor of the congregation in Lewisburg. In 1850 he accepted a call from the congregation in Lancaster, which he left again in 1860 for Lebanon. In 1863 he was elected by the Synod professor of theology in the Seminary of Mercersburg, in the place of Prof. B. C. Wolff. In this position he remained until his death, which occurred Dec. 28, 1867. Harbaugh was an indefatigable worker, and it was overexertion that brought on the disease of the brain by which he was carried off. The loss of his wife and a child in 1847 directed his thoughts to a special consideration of the state after death, and thus called for his works on Heaven, or the Sainted Dead: — The Heavenly Home: — The Heavenly Recognition: — Future Life (3 vols.). Besides these, he wrote The Golden Censer, a collection of "hymns and chants" for Sabbath schools: — A Child's Catechism: — The Glory of Woman: a volume of Poems: — — Union with the Church: — Youth in Earnest Life of Th. D. Fischer: — and a Life of Michael Schlatter, one of the founders of the German Reformed Church in America in the last century. His most important work is the one on The Fathers of the German Reformed Church in America (2 vols.). At the time of his death he was editor of the Mercersburg Review, and also a regular contributor to the columns of the Reformed Church Messenger, which latter relation he sustained during the last six years. He was likewise the originator of the Guardian, and its editor for seventeen years, to the close of 1866, during four of which it was published under the direction of the Board of Publication of the German Reformed Church. In addition to this, he furnished the reading matter for the several almanacs published by this board, and edited the Child's Treasury for the first year and a half after it came under the direct control of the Church Board. Dr. Harbaugh also contributed a number of biographical articles to this Cyclopedia. While, for the works thus far mentioned, he used the English language, he is also the author of several excellent poems in the German-Pennsylvanian dialect. In fact, the poems of Harbaugh belong among the best that have ever been written in this dialect. In his theological views Harbaugh was one of the foremost representatives of the school which emphasizes the efficiency of the sacraments, and the priestly character of the ministry. In the Order of Worship of the German Reformed Church, which was published in 1866, the burial service was from the pen of Harbaugh. (A. J. S.)

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

Verse reference tagging and popups powered by VerseClick™.