Page images


contains Dr. Ebeling's autograph, and this inscription on the fly-leaf: “Biblia Sacra in linguam Indorum Americanæ gentis Tw Natick translata a Johanne Eliot Missionario Angli

Impressa Cantabrigiae Novae Angliae oppido. Liber summae raritatis. V. Clement. Bibl. cur. T. iv. Freytag Analecta.”

Increase Mather, while president of Harvard College, presented the universities at Utrecht and Leyden, Holland, with Eliot Bibles of 1685, which are still preserved in the libraries of those institutions. The Eliot of 1663, in the library of the British Museum, was once the property of Hon. Edward Everett, United States minister to Great Britain. He presented it to Hon. Thomas Grenville, who bequeathed his library to the Museum. Hon. Rufus King, minister to England in 1796, was the owner of an Eliot Bible of 1685, which is now in the hands of his descendants in this country. Hon. Thomas Aspinwall, United States consul in England in 1815, possessed an Eliot New Testament of 1661. Brown Uni

versity, Providence, R.I., has a copy of the same year, which belonged to Roger Williams, and has notes in the margin in his own handwriting. The Bible in the library of Yale College has the signature of John Winthrop, doubtless the Winthrop who was governor of Connecticut in 1698. Mr. Morgan of New York owns a first edition of Eliot that has the signature of White Kennett, who was the Bishop of Peterborough in 1718. One of the finest and most desirable of the Eliot Bibles of 1663 is known to collectors as “the Allan copy,” from its having belonged to John Allan, the antiquarian. It is one of the “Royal” copies, containing the dedication to Charles the Second. It contains the autograph of William Ashurst, who was an active member of the Corporation for Propagating the Gospel in New England, and who became eventually its Governor. This gives this Bible peculiar interest. It was sold at the Brinley sale for $900, and is now the property of Mrs. Laura Eliot Cutter of Brooklyn, N.Y., who is a lineal descendant of John Eliot by the sixth generation. The Eliot that originally belonged to the Marquis of Hastings is in the library of the late John Carter Brown, Providence, R.I. As might be expected, there are several Bibles that contain the signatures of their former Indian owners, and these books in most cases give evidence in blackened and well-thumbed pages of the constant use they had in their day.

John Eliot died at the advanced age of eightysix, after a life replete with usefulness. His unselfishness, his devotion to duty, his broad sympathies, his strength and gentleness of character, all made him a central figure in the history of colonial times in America. De Ponseau called him “The Augustine of New England.” But the title “ The Apostle to the Indians ” has for generations been associated with his name wherever mentioned. In literature it appeared early, for Dr. Leuden, who was professor of Hebrew at Utrecht, Holland, dedicated in 1661 his English and Hebrew Psalter to Eliot, “ the venerable Apostle to the Indians in America.” The first use of the appellation is attributed to Rev. Thomas Thorowgood, who first used it in 1660. It was well applied; for Eliot had the apostolic spirit, as indicated in a life-long consecration. Evidently the thought that guided him at all times was that which he once wrote on the blank leaf of his Indian grammar in these words :

Prayers and pains, through Christ Jesus, will do anything.”


DURING the early days of the American colonies many Germans settled in Pennsylvania. They were as a class frugal and peaceable. They preferred, for the most part, the agricultural districts, where, by their industry, they acquired homes, and earned a generous living. Among these settlers was Christopher Saur, a man who rose to a position of commanding influence among his countrymen. He was born at Laasphe in Witgenstein, Germany, in 1693. He received his education at the University of Halle, where he studied medicine. He came to this country in 1724, and settled at German

1 Mr. Saur changed the spelling of his name when writing in English to Sower, and his descendants follow the same spelling. For the sake of uniformity, the German way of spelling the word, as found on the titlepage of the Saur Bible, has been retained in this article.

« PreviousContinue »