Barcelona: Juan Cassañes y Jayme Suriá, 1698. Hardcover. Very good. ,476, pp. Printed in two columns. In Spanish. Half title. Contemporary three-quarter sheep and marbled boards, gilt spine rules, gilt leather label, edges speckled in red. Early alphanumerical inscriptions in pastedowns. Binding scuffed and rubbed, internally fine. Early Spanish edition of the letters and prayers of St. Catherine of Siena. St. Catherine (1347-1380), virgin and Doctor of the Church, is known for her lifetime of asceticism and mystical experience, her diplomatic efforts on behalf of Popes Gregory XI and Urban VI at the end of the tumultuous 1370's, and her brilliant intellect. Despite her youth and lack of formal education, her writings are considered both theological masterpieces and classics of Tuscan literature. The letters and prayers here were translated into Castilian from the original vernacular Tuscan on order of Spanish Cardinal and Grand Inquisitor Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros (1436-1517).
[S.l.: s.n.], 1865. First Edition. Softcover. Good. 13 pp. including in-text cuts of a bull and an ass. Original pictorial wrappers. Early vertical fold, light dampstains affecting wrappers and upper-outer of most leaves (not touching text), small closed tears at head of front wrapper. Good. A highly alliterative American anti-Catholic spoof of papal bulls, taking particular aim at the current Pope, Pius IX. OCLC records three copies. Rare.
London: Printed by T. R. for the Authour, and are to be sold by Thomas Dring, at the George in Fleet-Street, near Clifford's-Inne, 1661. First English Language Edition. Hardcover. Near fine. Folio. ,293, pp. Expertly rebound in antique-style calf, paneled in blind, raised bands, gilt morocco label. Original bindings armorial bookplate of Henry Peirse of Bedall in Yorkshire Esq retained in front pastedown, original endpapers retained. Minor toning and occasional minor foxing. Near fine. First edition in English (issue with Dring imprint), after the original French edition, published as DES SIBYLLES CELEBRÉES... in 1649. An important work of 17th-century scholarship denying the authenticity of the Sibylline oracles and the Catholic practice of prayers for the dead. David Blondel (1591-1655) was a French Calvinist clergyman and professor of history at Amsterdam, later praised by Voltaire, Diderot, and other leading voices of the French Enlightenment. In the present work, Blondel examines the Oracula Sibyllina cited by early Church Fathers as ancient pagan anticipations of Christ and evidence for certain Christian eschatological views. The Oracula comprised twelve to fourteen books believed to record utterances of the Sibyls of ancient Greece, women associated with religious shrines who spoke in frenzied states as channels of the gods. The writings in question began experiencing renewed interest during the mid-16th century, when rediscovered manuscripts were printed for the first time in Basel and Paris. This coincided with Reformation-era controversies on the Catholic doctrine of Purgatory, which the Sibylline Oracles seemed to support. In his investigations, Blondel found strong evidence for the Oracula to be later Christian forgeries, whose acceptance he discusses here as an example of human propensity for error, even among revered early Christian writers. Caillet 1235 (original edition). ESTC R223826. Wing B3220A.
Nasser, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan: American Mission (W. Heffer & Sons Ltd., Cambridge, England, printers), 1931. First edition in Nuer language. Softcover. Very good. Original printed wrappers, stapled. vii,31, pp. In Nuer and English. Minor soiling, rear wrapper creased, very good. A rare missionary tract and early example of printing in the Nuer writing system of Sudan and western Ethiopia, which had been established in its final form in 1928. The work was originally composed in English by John Lester McIntyre, a missionary based for most of his career in West Africa, as an aid for fellow Christian missionaries working among African animists "in danger of going over to Islam." Translated with the help of three Nuer people named in the anonymous translator's note, this edition was published by the American Mission in what is now the town of Nasir in South Sudan. OCLC records no copies of this or any other non-lexicographical work printed in the Nuer writing system before 1935.
West Nyack, New York: Cross Currents Corporation, 1961. First Edition. Softcover. Near fine. -304 pp. Original printed wrappers. Mild toning, else near fine. Summer 1961 issue of CROSS CURRENTS, featuring a largely unedited transcript of a discussion between James Baldwin, Emil Capouya, Lorraine Hansberry, Nat Hentoff, Langston Hughes, and Alfred Kazin broadast earlier that year on WBAI-FM of New York. "The relaxed and spontaneous form of the remarks of these distinguished writers provides a candid presentation of attitudes often neglected in the glow of our easy denunciations of southern racists or that cheap statesmanship which calls for 'moderation' in regard to elementary human dignity" (p. ). A powerful, frank discussion by major American literary figures at the dawn of the Civil Rights era, with strong contemporary resonance. (The discussion is available for listening online as Episode 294 of the Black Media Archive.)
Athens: Konstantin Gkarpola, 1841. First Thus. Hardcover. Very good. Folio. ,484 pp. plus two plates (frontispiece and church plan). In modern Greek. Expertly rebound in antique-style three-quarter calf and marbled boards, spine gilt. Frontispiece quite clean, remainder of contents moderately foxed. Very good. First edition printed in Greece (and second overall) of the classic compilation of Eastern Orthodox canon law, compiled and edited by the monks Agapius and Nicodemus of Mount Athos at the close of the 18th century. The largest published compilation of canon law in its time, PEDALION collected and provided commentary on the Canons of the Holy Apostles, of the first seven Ecumenical Councils, of regional synods through Carthage, and of numerous Church Fathers. As Greek printing on Greek soil was suppressed by the Ottoman authorities during the lives of Nicodemus and Agapius, their first manuscript was sent to Leipzig for publication. There, the heiromonk Theodoret made various unauthorized additions to the editors' commentaries, which were corrected in the present edition on the order of Patriarch Neophytos Doukas. This new edition was printed twelve years after Greek independence by Athens publisher Konstantin Gkarpola, who dedicated it to the brothers Zosimas (Zosimades), leading benefactors of the Greek Enlightenment and independence movements. PEDALION represents one of several major contributions by Nicodemus the Hagiorite (1749-1809) to the Eastern Orthodox Church in the modern era. An accomplished theologian, committed ascetic, and influential mystic, Nicodemus played a major role in the revival of Patristic literature and ancient and medieval Christian practices, including Hesychasm, an intensive spiritual discipline centering on the Jesus Prayer and closely associated with the monks of Mount Athos. He was canonized in 1955. The book includes a detailed floor diagram of an Orthodox church, borrowed from the EXOMOLOGETARION of Chrysanthos of Jersalem, and an attractive allegorical frontispiece showing Christ at the helm of a boat. The accomapnying caption reads (in Greek, with the following translation supplied in the first English-language edition of 1957): "This ship symbolizes the Catholic Church of Christ. Its keel represents the Orthodox Faith in the Holy Trinity. Its beams and planks represent the dogmas and traditions of the Faith. Its mast represents the Cross; its sail and rigging represent Hope and Love. The Master of the vessel is our Lord Jesus Christ, whose hand is on the helm. The mates and sailors are the Apostles, and the successors of the Apostles, and all clergymen, secretaries and notaries, and occasional teachers. The passengers comprise all Orthodox Christians. The sea symbolizes present life. A gentle and zephyr-like breeze signifies whiffs and graces of the Holy Spirit wafting the vessel on its course. Winds, on the other hand, are temptations baffling it. Its Rudder, whereby it is steered straightforwardly to the heavenly harbor is the present Book of the Holy Canons." Surprisingly scarce in major institutions. OCLC record twelve copies worldwide.
New-Haven: Published and sold by the author [et al.]; A. H. Maltby & Co., Printers, 1821. First Edition. Hardcover. Very good. 12mo. ,vi,10-157 pp. including engraved half title, engraved frontispiece, and musical notation in pp. 111-156, plus 21 leaves of plates (1-20 numbered), complete. Later speckled paper over boards, gilt leather label. Moderate foxing throughout. Very good. Rare first edition of the first illustrated guide to the organization, rituals, and symbolism of the Masonic Knights Templar for the General Grand Encampment of the United States, by the influential Masonic author and lecturer Jeremy Ladd Cross (1783-1860). The work follows on the success of Cross's pioneering 1820 publication of Masonic emblems, THE TRUE MASONIC CHART, with a monitor for the specifically Christian "knighthood" orders associated with Freemasonry in the U.S. Following ritual manuals, lessons, constitutions, and lists of officers for the orders is a large selection of songs, many with musical notation, and plates of symbols, ritual schematics, and Biblical and allegorical scenes, including Paul's shipwreck on Malta. The frontispiece, a depiction of Constantine's vision of the cross blazing in the heavens, is an early copper engraving of Simeon Smith Jocelyn (1799-1879) of New Haven. Jocelyn is evidently the illustrator of the all of the plates in the volume (taking the place of Amos Doolittle, who engraved the plates of the TRUE MASONIC CHART). Around the time of the TEMPLAR CHART's publication, Jocelyn enrolled at Yale to train as a Congregationalist minister. Successfully ordained, in the 1830's Jocelyn abandoned the engraving trade to dedicate himself completely to antislavery and African American educational causes, becoming a major leader in the latter.
London: Printed for the Proprietors, and sold by James Hodges, 1754. First Edition. Hardcover. Very good. Folio.  pp. plus four plates (including frontispiece), as called for. Contemporary speckled calf, gilt rules, raised bands, gilt leather label. Modern bookplate in front pastedown and small monogram inkstamp in frontispiece leaf recto and title page, earlier inkstamp of Cornwall House in front free endpaper. Front joint split at head of spine, some edgwear to binding, reinforcement of front hinge in clear tape, minor worming in lower margin of first twelve leaves. Contents bright and clean. Very good. Scarce first collected edition, complete with four plates. The plates depict St. Paul's Cathedral, worshipers at the Church of St. Margaret at Westminster Abbey, the Last Supper, and the Baptism of Jesus. Issued in weekly parts between 1752 and 1754 "as that the common people could purchase it with ease, and neither the price nor size might affright them from pursuing it," the book was intended to provide a detailed explanation of Anglican liturgy through extensive historical and theological annotation of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. The DNB describes the author, Ferdinando Warner (1703-1768), an Anglican minister based in London and later Surrey, as "much esteemed as a popular preacher, and his writings show him to have been a man of wide learning and more than ordinary ability." DNB 59, p. 393. ESTC T154488.
London: [Printed by John Lewis], 1758. First Edition. Hardcover. Near fine. Quarto. 156 pp. In Latin. Modern vinyl, raised bands, spine lettered in gilt. Final errata leaf not present, as usual. Some light underlining in pencil, occasional light foxing, else near fine. First edition of one of the foundational documents of Emanuel Swedenborg's vision for a new Christianity, containing its fundamental doctrines. Published anonymously and printed in London by John Lewis in an edition of 1000 copies. Scarce. ESTC T135860. Hyde 1210. Caillet 10476 (French edition).
Geneva: Eustache Vignon, 1580. Hardcover. Very good. ,213 pp. In Latin. 19th-century plain paper-backed marbled boards. 19th-century German booksellers label in front pastedown. Small early inscription, crossed out in early ink, in title page, not affecting text, occasional early underlining and marginal notes. Two-inch vertical crease at head of title leaf, with half-inch closed tear at edge (tear not affecting text), faint dampstaining in first 24 leaves. Very good. Early Latin edition, after the first edition, in German, of 1569 and the first Latin edition of 1570. Known in English as Of Ghostes and Spirites Walking by Nyght, and of Strange Noyses, Crackes, and Sundry Forewarnings, Whiche Commonly Happen Before the Death of Menne, Great Slaughters, & Alterations of Kyngdomes, from the 1572 English translation, this work is one of the most important demonological works of the Reformation era, profoundly influential in Elizabethan literature. The author, Ludwig Lavater (1527-1886), was a Zwinglian Swiss theologian and minister based in Zurich. In the 16th and 17th-century Protestant world, new questions had surfaced regarding the nature of ghostly apparitionsparticularly their origins. In the Catholic understanding, ghosts were generally thought to be spirits of the dead on leave from Purgatory. With their rejection of the doctrine of Purgatory, Protestant philosophers and theologians were compelled to search for new answers. One (fairly unpopular) position was taken by Reginald Scot in his DISCOURSE UPON DEVILS AND SPIRITS, appended to his 1584 work, DISCOVERIE OF WITCHCRAFT, in which he argued that because the age of miracles had ceased long ago apparitions must be no more than the products of human imagination or trickery. The dominant view in Protestant theology (if still not quite the popular mind), however, came to be what Lavater expressed here in DE SPECTRIS. Lavater argued that, while many apparitions may be indeed be products of false perception, ample evidence of real supernatural visitations had existed from biblical and classical antiquity to the present day. He concluded, however, that these phenomena are not the spirits of the dead but in fact agents of Hell (and perhaps occasionally Heaven) that will sometimes take human spiritual form. He relates examples of these phenomena throughout the work, together with a taxonomy of less-human specters such as Lamiae, Larvae, and Lemures and a variety of mythical creatures. In his introduction to the 1929 Oxford edition of GHOSTES AND SPIRITES (edited with May Yardley), J. Dover Wilson demonstrates the clear influence of Lavaters viewsand possibly of his book, directlyon Shakespeare in the shaping of the dialogues surrounding the ghost of Hamlets father. In TAMMUZ PAN AND CHIRST : NOTES ON A TYPICAL CASE OF MYTH-TRANSFERENCE AND DEVELOPMENT (Chicago, 1912), Wilfred H. Schoff discusses the influence of Lavaters strange compilation of wonder stories on the Elizabethans and traces the path of the Dead Pan story in English literature from DE SPECTRIS through Spencer, Milton, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Caillet 6237 ("curieux et rare"). Dorbon-Ainé 2509 (first edition). Graesse, pp. 81, 134. Rosenthal 1885. Thorndike VI, pp. 530-32.
Paris: Letouzey & Ané, . Softcover. Good. Half titles. 423,;456, pp. Original printed wrappers. Text block of second volume neatly split, repaired with early cellophane. Wrappers chipped at edges, mildly soiled, light dampstain affecting first few leaves of second volume, occasional light foxing. Good. Later (1886) printings of the 1885 first edition. The first of the many anti-Masonic texts of the great Léo Taxil Hoax of the late 19th century. Léo Taxil was the assumed name of Gabriel Antoine Jogand-Pagès (1854-1907), a Jesuit-educated French journalist who experimented with Freemasonry and wrote outrageously anti-Catholic tracts during the early 1880s. In 1885, following the publication of the HUMANUM GENUS encyclical by Pope Leo XIII, which referred to Freemasons as leaders of the "kingdom of Satan," Taxil publicly renounced his past works and feigned conversion to Catholicism. He soon published several books "exposing" sinister aspects of Freemasonry, beginning with the "Révelations complètes" series. In 1891, he published the inquiry, "Y-a-t-il des femmes dans la Franc-Maçonnerie?" introducing the idea of a mixed-sex, Lucifer-worshipping "Palladian" rite of of Freemasons led by Grand Master Albert Pike of Charleston, South Carolina. Various pseudonymous documents created by Taxil supported the claims of this rite's existence, as did the appearance in print of his character, Diana Vaughan, a descendent of the Rosicrucian alchemist Thomas Vaughan, who had become involved with the Palladists (and various incarnate demons along the way) before escaping that world and relating her experiences to Taxil. In 1897, promising to introduce Vaughan at a press conference, Taxil revealed that she had been his own creation and that his anti-Masonic activities of the past twelve years had been an elaborate hoax, facilitated by the gullible fanaticism of the Catholic press. LES FRÈRES TROIS-POINTS introduced Taxil's long project in print with a general introduction to Freemasonry, lists of its rites, lodges, and leaders in Europe and the Americas, and details of its various rituals. Caillet 5563.
[Frankfurt]: Printed by Johann Wolf for Johann Jacob Porsius, 1610. First Edition. Hardcover. Very good. Small octavo. A-Y8 (Y8 blank);  pp. Contemporary limp vellum, manuscript spine title. 18th or 19th-century printed and manuscript library bookplate, later monogram book label. 17th-century inscriptions, including ex dono inscription of George Keith, in title page. Modern bibliographical inscriptions in front free endpaper. Vellum worn and moderately soiled but sound. Early repair to front free endpapers, title leaf, and first leaf of text, with some resulting glue stains, occasional minor worming. After the first few leaves, contents clean. Overall very good. "Miracles of the Dead" is one of the four works by German lawyer Heinrich Kornmann (ca. 1580-1620) published between 1610 and 1614 on magic and marvels. Magical bits from the Miracles of the Dead are that the owl is a fatal omen and the peacock a presage of disease, that suffumigation with the tooth of a dead man expels witchcraft and impotency, that the herb betony protects cemeteries, and that if a mother kisses her dead child, the other children will soon die too. Astrology enters in the question why thousands of persons with different horoscopes die on the same day in the same battle, and divination in the question what dreams about the dead signifiy, the discussion of presages of death, and the prophecies of those about to die. The problem is argued whether the witch of Endor really resuscitated Samuel. Joan of Arcs heart was unburned at the stake. Cases are listed of the teeth of corpses growing and a dead woman impregnated. A corpse is heavier than the living body because it is without the levitation of the vital spirits and heat. The size and weight of resurrected bodies is discussed, how men who have been eaten and the cannibals who ate them can both be resurrected in the body, whether abortions will rise again, and whether monsters will be resurrected. The corpse bleeding before the murderer is treated, and if inextinguishable and ever-burning sepulchral lamps are not, they are about the only thing connected with funerals and burials which is omitted -- Thorndike. Caillet 5827 ("Curieux et recherché"). Thorndike VII, pp. 278-80.
London: [John Lewis], 1758. First Edition. Hardcover. Very good. Quarto. 72 pp. Errata leaf not present, as usual. In Latin. Late 19th-century red morocco, raised bands, gilt spine title, inner gilt dentelles, marbled endpapers, a.e.g. Mid 19th-century ownership inscription in title page and underlining and extensive marginal notes in English and Latin from the same owner at various points throughout. Some loss to manuscript marginalia from trimming. Minor wear and soiling to binding and occasional soiling and foxing in contents. Very good. First edition, in Latin, of one of Swedenborg's early mystical writings, published anonymously by John Lewis in London in an edition of 1000 copies. This work, later published in English as "Concerning the Earths in our Solar System, which are called Planets; and concerning the Earths in the Starry Heaven; together with an account of their inhabitants, and also of the spirits and angels there..." is an account of Swedenborg's spiritual communications with the inhabitants of other worlds and a description of their various distinctive qualities and religious orientations. The spirits of Mercury travel across the universe in globe-like phalanxes "to acquire the knowledges of things." Describing to Swedenborg the vast numbers of beings and worlds beyond our own, they relate to him that "they knew there were earths existing in the universe to the number of some hundred thousands and upwards" and ask, "yet what is this to the Divine, which is infinite?" The inhabitants of Mars are "the best of all among the spirits who are from the earths of our solar system, for they are as to the most part celestial men, not unlike those who were of the Most Ancient Church on this earth." At the edge of our solar system, Swedenborg discovers "fiery smoke ascending out of a great chasm," where guards prevent the travel of spirits to whom leave has not been granted, and visits five worlds beyond it. An additional chapter explores the question of why our earth would be chosen for the Incarnation, determining that the capacity to create scripture began here: "That the Word might be written on our earth, is because the art of writing has existed here from the most ancient time, first on the bark of trees, next on parchment, afterwards on paper, and lastly published by types. This was provided by the Lord for the sake of the Word." Throughout, Swedenborg's considerable astronomical knowledge and distinctive theology emerge in his narration and in dialogues between himself and the other beings. ESTC T90963. Hyde 956. Caillet 10482 (French translation).
Philadelphia: Printed by Thomas Dobson, 1794. First separate American edition. Softcover. Near fine. 24 pp. Original self-wrappers, stitched. Very minor foxing and soiling, else fine, untrimmed and partially unopened. First separate American edition of a key tract in American Unitarianism. Joseph Priestley (1733-1804), best known as the discoverer of oxygen, was an important English scientist, political philosopher, theologian, and dissenting clergyman. He emigrated from England in 1794 due to increasing religious pressure there and settled in Philadelphia, where he played a central role in the founding of the first American church to call itself "Unitarian." The DAB calls Priestley "the chief early protagonist of the Unitarian movement in the United States." Evans 27554.
Kaufbeuren: Christian Starck, 1742. Hardcover. Very good. ,498, pp. including index. In German. Contemporary mottled calf, raised bands, spine richly gilt, gilt leather labels, marbled endpapers, all edges red. Early 20th-century satanic bookplate of "Winkler Jenö." Calf worn at edges and rubbed, loss to lower corner of first rear endpaper. Very good. Later edition, after the first of 1682. One of the last published examples of medieval-style prophecy, the work foretells the life, magical works, reign, and defeat of the Antichrist, with various revelations relating to signs of his coming and the end of the world, the murder and resurrection of Enoch and Elijah, and the Second Coming of Christ, as well as a section on the "Messiah of the Jews." The author, Dionysius von Lützenburg (i.e., Luxemburg, ca. 1652-1703), was a Capuchin friar known especially for this, his first work, and his hagiographical LEGEND DER HEILIGEN (1684). The present copy contains the very unusual bookplate of Jenö Winkler ("Winkler Jenö," in the Hungarian style), who is also evidently its artist, with his monogram in the print. The plate, printed in black and red, shows a suited devil plunging a skull-tipped sword through a large bleeding book. OCLC lists four copies, three in Germany, one at Brigham Young Univeristy. Rare.
Mexico City: Antonio Vanegas Arroyo, [ca. 1900]. First Edition. Broadside. Near fine. José Guadalupe Posada. Halfsheet, approximately 11 3/4 x 8 inches, printed recto and verso. In Spanish. Woodcut illustration, 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches, and ornamental border in recto. Toning, 3/4-inch marginal closed tear, not affecting text, else fine. News halfsheet illustrated by José Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913), the immortal Mexican printmaker, at the press of celebrated Mexico City publisher Antonio Vanegas Arroyo (1850-1917). Guadalupe's wood engraving depicts the "horrible event" of the past September at Ocotlán, in which the Virgin of Guadalupe came to the aid of a virtuous, long-battered woman whose husband had secretly sold her to a demon six years earlier, and whom the demon had now come to collect at a mountain monastery. Hearing her weeping and prayers, the Virgin assumed the woman's identity while she slept and presented herself to the demon, who, when he realized he had been tricked, let out a frightful roar. A striking piece, rare, and in excellent condition despite the extreme fragility of its paper.
Boston: Wells and Lilly, 1823. First Edition. Softcover. Very good. 24 pp. Original plain green wrappers, stitched. Contemporary ink ownership signature of "G. Bond" on front wrapper. Wrappers lightly chipped at spine ends and corners, light soiling to front wrapper and extreme fore-edge, else near fine. An anti-Calvinist pamphlet from the Unitarian Controversy of 1805-1835, insisting upon "right of thought" and separation of church and state as fundamentally Christian principles. The author targets Massachusetts's "orthodox party" of Congregationalist clergy as heirs to Constantine and Rome in their abuses of Christianity and mental enslavement of their churches' laity. Sabin attributes the work to John Lowell, Jr. (1769-1840), the prominent Federalist Massachusetts lawyer, prolific pseudonymous pamphleteer, and author several years earlier of "Are You a Christian or a Calvinist?" Sabin 42457.
Grand Rapids, Mi.: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1940. First Edition. Hardcover. Near fine. 72 pp. Publisher's brown cloth. Spine sunned, else fine.
Amherst, N.H.: R. Boylston, 1817. First Edition. Softcover. Near Fine. 28 pp. Printed self-wrappers, stitched. Very minor foxing, else fine, largely unopened. Sunday sermon by Rev. Thomas Beede, credited as New Hampshire's first Unitarian minister, delivered successively in Wilton and Amherst in 1817. The sermon discusses the relationship between the Abrahamic and Sinai covenants with an eye to the issue of infant baptism. Beede acknowledges Joseph Lathrop and John Reed as sources, and the pamphlet concludes with a printing of two of Isaac Watts' hymns, "Gentiles by Nature" and "How Large the Promise."
Cincinnati, Oh.: C.N. Morris, 1875. First English Language Edition. Softcover. Very good. 16 pp. Original printed wrappers. Wrappers lightly soiled, else near fine. From the library of Dr. Ephraim M. Epstein, first President of the University of South Dakota, bearing his bookplate. Polemic "Dedicated to all Patriotic Citizens of the United States" by the pastor of Cincinnati's Third Protestant Church on the dangerous influence of the Roman Catholic Church. Delivered at Cincinnati in May, 1875, and translated from the German.