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Nach der Deutschen Uebersekung
D. $seartin Scrubbers, Mit jedes Capitels furßen Summarien auch
bengefugten vielen und richtigen Parllelen;
Nebst eineuit anbang
dritten Buchs der Maccabier.
Fac-simile of the title-page of ile Saur Bible of 1743. Reduced size.
town, but in the same year went to Lancaster County and engaged in farming. In 1731 he returned to Germantown, and followed the practice of medicine. As he was a man of decided convictions in matters of morality and religion, he became interested in bettering the temporal and spiritual condition of the Germans about him. He found them destitute to a great extent of reading matter in their own tongue. He at once began to import Bibles and various religious books for their use. As many of them were poor, he induced several Bible societies in Germany to donate copies of the Scriptures, and especially the publishing houses at Halle and Büdingen. As time went on, and the intellectual wants of the German people became more evident, he urged the publication of books and papers in America. He knew nothing of printing ; but an emergency arose which drew him into the business, which he followed the remainder of his life with devotion and enthusiasm. Thomas says, “ The Baptists, or Tunkers, in Germany raised by sub
scription a sum of money, in order to purchase religious books and disperse them among their poor friends in Pennsylvania, and to establish a press there to print for the same purpose. Accordingly a press and types, with a quantity of books, were sent out and intrusted to the management of a German Baptist by the name of Jacob Gaus. He was to have the use of, and the emolument arising from, the press, on condition that he should distribute a certain number of copies of each of the religious books he should print among the poor Germans. This person did not possess the ability necessary for the undertaking, and no other person who was thought to have sufficient ability for the purpose was found to take his place. The business was suspended, and the press and type viewed as useless lumber.” 1 It was at this point that Mr. Saur came into possession of the property. He set up his press, imported workmen from Germany, and launched his publishing enterprise.
In 1738 he began the printing of an almanac, i Thomas's History of Printing in America, vol. i. p. 271.
which was the first one in German printed in this country. It was very small at first, consisting of only twelve pages. It was enlarged in 1743 to sixteen pages, but by 1750 it had increased to forty-eight pages. Its publication was continued for forty years.
So great was the faith of the Germans in the integrity of Mr. Saur that in seriousness they consulted his almanac for weather predictions. A farmer, about to make a journey, referred to his almanac and found the day marked “ fair.” He went in an open wagon, but ere long a shower drenched him through and through. In great anger he called upon Mr. Saur for an explanation. The sturdy German quietly replied, “ My friend, I made the almanac, but the Almighty made the weather.” Mr. Saur printed the first number of a religious newspaper on August 20, 1739, and also began the publication of a religious quarterly, in German, in 1746. These publications had a large circulation among the German population. The newspaper was the first religious newspaper