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issued in this country. It is said to have reached a circulation of ten thousand copies, which was large for that time.
Through this almanac and newspaper Mr. Saur urged the publication of a German Bible, and pleaded for help. In 1739 he issued his Proposal. It is in several respects unique, and worth quoting nearly in full. He writes,
“ Therefore, as we think we have some abilities to meet this great desideratum, we are also willing to contribute all that is in our power thereto. But as the publishing of such a work requires a much greater outlay than our means are adequate to, we deem it necessary that all the subscribers, or, to speak plainly, all those who desire a copy of the Bible shall notify us, and pay half a crown which is necessary: First, that we may know a little how many we may venture to print. Second, to assist us in our payments, as the paper for one Bible alone costs 78. 6d. Thirdly, that if we should be necessitated to involve ourselves by loans in getting it up, we may have something to depend on to relieve us again from our embarrassments; and lastly, as the country is so new yet that we have no example of the kind to pattern after.
“ The form shall be long quarto; that is, the height and breadth like this page, and with the same type, which we think sufficiently readable to old and young. In thickness, it shall be about the breadth of a hand, for we are willing to take good paper to it.
“Notes or comments we will add none, as we hope that all those who read the Holy Scriptures with a sincere heart,
will, through the teachings of the fear of God, which is the beginning of all wisdom, become sufficiently acquainted with the sinfulness and depravity of his heart, to seek for an interest in the Saviour, through whose redeeming power he will be taught to love Him and keep His words; then the Father will love him and come unto him, and they will make their abode with him. And if the Godhead thus dwells in him, then the Holy Ghost will be the best commentator of His own words; as Moses, the Prophets, and Christ, the Apostles, and Evangelists have spoken and recorded them; and that, then, will be the correctest and most reliable commentary.”
Concerning the price, we cannot say precisely: First, because we do not know yet how many we shall print, for the smaller the number, the higher the price will be, and the larger the number, the lower the price will be. Second, because several friends of the Truth have, out of love to God, and for the good of their needy neighbors, already contributed toward it, and others have offered to do so. Partly, that its price may be so low that the parsimonious and avaricious may have no excuse, and those of lesser means, no burden. Therefore, in proportion to the number of such benefactors, and as our own means will enable us to do, the price will be. But this much we may say, that all unbound, none shall cost over fourteen shillings, which we hope will not be thought dear, especially when we consider that the paper alone is at least four times as high here as it is in Germany."
To print a Bible at that day was an immense undertaking, for type was not as yet manufactured in the new country. Workmen were few, and financial aid slow in coming. But Mr.
Saur persisted in his appeals, and believed in the ultimate success of his plans. He appealed to Germany for assistance, as well as to friends in America. His plea was not in vain. Mr. Heinrich Ehrenfried Luther, a type-founder of Frankfort-on-the-Main, presented him with a font of type, asking no other compensation than to receive a copy of the Bible when completed.
Mr. Luther was not only a prominent typefounder, but a man of literary attainments who received university honors. As a lawyer of ability, he filled the position of Court Counsellor of Würtemberg. At that time, Frankfort-on-the-Main was one of the four free cities of Germany. He was born in the above city in the year 1700, and died in 1770.
As soon as the type was received, work upon the Bible began. The book was three years in going through the press, and the last sheet was finished in August, 1743. Considering the early day at which the Saur Bible was printed, it is an admirable example of workmanship.
It was the first Bible printed in America in a European language.
The Title-Page :
Testaments, I nach der Deutschen Uebersebung | Dr. Martin Luthers, I Mit jedes Capitels Kurşen Summarien, auch i beygefugten vielen und richtigen Parallelen; | nebst einem Anhang 1 Des dritten und vierten Buche Efrä und des I dritten Buchs der Maccabäer. I
Translation: The Bible, That is the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, after the German translation of Dr. Martin Luther, with short summaries to every chapter, also many and correct parallel references, besides an Appendix of the Third and Fourth Books of Ezra, and the Third Book of Maccabees. Germantown: Printed by Christopher Saur. 1743.
Collation: Title, one leaf; verso, blank. Preface, one page. Order of Books of Old Testament, one page. Text, pp. 1-805. Apocrypha, pp. 806–949. Appendix, pp. 950–995. New Testament title, one leaf. Preface, one leaf. Order of Books, one page. Text, pp. 3–277. Register of Epistles and Gospels for Sundays of Christian
Year, two pages. Register of Epistles and Gospels for certain Saints' Days, one leaf. Short history of translations of the Bible, four pages.
“WHILE all books require a preface by means of which the use and peculiarity of the book is briefly described, the Bible is in itself sufficiently known, and itself brings all that can only be written about; above all It and every Scripture given of God is useful, for doctrine, for reproof, for improvement, for instruction in righteousness, that a man of God may be perfect, equipped for all good works, etc. (2 Tim. iii. 15, 16, 17). The moving causes for printing this present Bible, have been chiefly, as may be perceived : Firstly, that so many poor Germans come to the country who do not all bring Bibles. Secondly, that so many are born and bred in the land, who also do not all know how to obtain Bibles, and it is noticed that the well-to-do usually care for themselves and theirs.
Luther's translation has been selected, be