(London: Printed for Tim[othy] Garthwait, 1659). 200 x 152 mm. (7 7/8 x 6"). 6 p.l. (including the frontispiece), 188, 80, 48 pp.Edited by Peter Gunning. FIRST EDITION.
Modern unlettered blind-ruled calf, raised bands. Engraved frontispiece and engraved title page, both by Wenceslaus Hollar and dated 1659. Wing H-269. Spine uniformly sunned and with one very small spot, engraved leaves closely cropped (with the tiniest of loss), text trimmed close at top (a few headlines just touched), leaves a shade less than bright, isolated minor stains, a very small hole through the gutter of two leaves (no loss), otherwise an excellent copy, the binding unworn, and the text still quite fresh.
The erudite John Hales (1584-1656) was Greek professor at Oxford and held other important academic positions; he is described succinctly in the preface written here by John Pearson as "a man of great sharpness, quicknesse and subtilty of wit as ever this; or, perhaps, any Nation bred." Andrew Marvel described Hales as "one of the clearest heads and best prepared breasts in Christendom." And in a long tribute found in "Memoirs of Eminent Etonians" by Edward Shepherd Creasy, Hales is described as "respected by all who knew him for his erudition and integrity, and beloved for his cheerfulness and amiability." The present volume includes three sections: the first containing nine sermons, full of impressively brandished metaphor; the second containing Hales' early-career letters (1618-19) to Dudley Carlton, British ambassador to The Hague (whom Hales served as chaplain), reporting from the Synod of Dort; and the third containing the Dort Synod letters of Dr. Balcanqual, Hales' replacement at the council. Of special interest in the first section is a sermon against duels. (ST11199)
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PJP Catalog: Cat 69.161