The Inspirationists and Print Media
Throughout its three hundred year history the Community of True Inspiration has used print media to connect its members and communicate with non-members. Just a few months after their first prayer meeting in the house of E.L. Gruber in November 1714, the Inspirationists published responses to their critics. Soon thereafter they began an extensive publication effort that focused primarily on bringing the inspired testimonies “into the light” (ans Licht gestelt), but also included Inspirationist poetry and hymns. The list of Inspirationist publications in the 18th century surpasses 120 works.
Many of the Inspirationist works are anonymous, with little publication information. Nevertheless, we are able to confidently identify certain eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century publications in Germany as “Inspirationist.” The most obvious of course are the printed collections of inspired testimonies of recognized Werkzeuge (instruments) of the community. In the eighteenth century those consisted of four main individuals: Johann Friedrich Rock, Johann Adam Gruber, Johann Carl Gleim, and Ursula Meyer. (It should be noted that testimonies through another dozen individuals exist in manuscript, but were never printed.) Then there are the works authored by, edited by, or compiled by a member of the community: E. L. Gruber, Paul Giesebert Nagel, and Jonas Wickmark primarily. In the case of some works by Johann Adam Gruber, we can add authored by a former member and friend of the community.
Inspirationist publications both in Germany and later in America served to create a “community memory” and a united membership. Another motivation for the publications was the edification of the members of the community. This effort was directed toward the younger members of the community as well as the adults. It is not uncommon to find a youth publication that mirrored that for the adults (e.g., catechism and hymnal). The Inspirationists printed editions of well-known authors Thomas à Kempis and John Bunyan as well as works by relatively obscure writers such as Augustin Fuhrman and Heinrich von Nürnberg. However, the main literary genres represented are unique to them: 1) inspired testimonies, 2) songs and poetry, and 3) last hours of members. A fourth genre is added in communal Amana: children’s schoolbooks.
For a complete bibliography of Inspirationist publications see An Annotated Bibliography of Inspirationist Publications in Germany and America, 1715-2013, Richard Couper Press, 2017.
Digital Versions of Inspirationist Books
In recent years several organizations have digitized several Inspirationist printed books that are in the public domain (books published prior to 1922 are not subject to copyright and are considered to be “in the public domain”).
The table below contains 18th Century Inspirationist books that have been digitized and are available for download.
Click the book title to launch the download process. The file will be downloaded to whichever folder on your computer is designated as your download location.
- Digitized books are large files that must be downloaded to your computer before you can open and view them.
- Depending on the capacity of your local internet connection, some of the larger files make take several minutes to download. But you need to download a file only one time.
Title Werkzeug or author Year Published Digitized By
Unterschiedliche Erfahrungs=volle Zeugnisse 1715 Universität Tübingen
Historische Umstände 1715 Universität Tübingen
Nöthiges und nützliches Gespräch von der Wahren und Falschen Inspiration E.L. Gruber (author) 1716 Google Books
Abfertigung Einer Brehmischen Lügen= und Läster=Schrift... E.L. Gruber (author) 1717 Inspirationist Archivists
Buß= Weck= und Warnungs=Stimme Johann Adam Gruber (Werkzeug) 1718 Google Books
Das Gebet des HErrn Nebst der Göttlichen Antwort darauf Johann Adam Gruber (Werkzeug) 1718 Bayrischer StaatsBibliothek/ Münchener DigitalizierungsZentrum
Wohl und Weh
Johann Friedrich Rock (Werkzeug) 1719 Inspirationist Archivists
Die Schule der Weisheit 1748 Inspirationist Archivists
Geschrey zur Mitternacht Johann Carl Gleim (Werkzeug) 1758 (1st Ed. 1715) Inspirationist Archivists
Kurze Historie der Inspirirten und Inspirations=Gemeinden I
P.G. Nagel or Jonas Wickmark (author) 1772 Inspirationist Archivists
Davidisches Psalter=Spiel 1775 (1st Ed. 1718) Google Books
Kurze Historie der so genannten Inspirirten und Inspirations=Gemeinden II P.G. Nagel (author) 1776 Inspirationist Archivists
Sammlungen...Letzte Lebens Stunden 1780 Inspirationist Archivists
Himmlischer Abendschein Ursula Mayer (Werkzeug) 1781 Google Books
Von dem ersten Zustand des Menschen Johann Carl Gleim (Werkzeug) 1804 (1st Ed. 1725) Google Books
Denkmal der Freundschaft Johann P. Wiltz (editor) 1808 Inspirationist Archivists