Hurter, Johann Georg

Hurter, Johann Georg a German Pietist and philanthropist, was born in the latter half of the 17th century. Of his early history we know but little. He was pastor of a church at Schaffhausen from 1704. He is often called "an Augustus Hermann Francke in miniature" on a account of the school and orphan-houses which he built without possessing the necessary means, relying solely, like Francke, on providential help. His first undertaking was the building of a school-house for the instruction of the children of his own scattered congregation, who were obliged to go a long way to the town school, and of whom many could not get there at all. "In December, 1709, seventy children, with their pastor, Hurter, at their head, celebrated, with prayer and thanksgiving, their entrance into their new house." The contributions which he had received for the undertaking had been so numerous and so ready that on the completion of the school-house he decided to build an orphan asylum. One benevolent man laid the cornerstone by a gift of 200 florins. To make a beginning, one of the rooms in the schoolhouse was set apart for the reception of orphans, and in July 1711, a widow with seven children was received. The contributions multiplied, and with them the children. Hurter contributed even much of his own means; and when in 1716 he, with other Pietists, was rewarded for his service by deposition from the ministry, he modestly secluded himself in a little room in his orphan asylum, and there spent the latter years of his life. He died in 1721. This article is based altogether on Hurst's' translation of Hagenbach, Hist. of the Church in the 18th and 19th Centuries (N. York, Scribner and Co., 1869, 2 vols. 8vo), 1, 181.

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