([Cambridge]: John Legat, 1598). 153 x 98 mm. (6 x 3 7/8"). 4 p.l., 375,  pp. Second Printing.
Modern sprinkled calf, blind-ruled covers, raised bands flanked by double gilt rules, brown morocco label, remnants of paper library shelf label at tail of spine. Printer's device on title page. Front pastedown with bookplate of the Fox Pointe Collection; rear pastedown with deaccession stamp of Bradford City Libraries. STC 19736; ESTC 19736. Spine just faintly sunned, leaves lightly browned (due to paper quality) and trimmed a bit close at head, grazing headline on a couple of leaves, isolated marginal stains or tiny rust spots, but an excellent copy, fresh and clean, in a sympathetic binding with few signs of wear.
This was an important work in establishing distinctions in liturgy and doctrine between the Catholic Church and the Church of England, written by a moderate puritan whom DNB considers "perhaps the most significant English theologian of his age." Perkins (1558-1602) was one of the most popular voices of his time speaking from a Calvinist puritan point of view; while he could be virulently anti-Catholic, he did not believe in repudiating the English church, only in reforming it. According to DNB, "The genius of Perkins's work did not lie in its originality—his theology represents a conventional recital of Calvinist scholasticism in virtually every respect. His gift lay rather in bringing to a broad audience a variety of theological and moral issues, popularizing essentially technical discussions, and therefore, as Fuller observed, humbling 'the towering speculations of philosophers into practice and morality.'" The present work spread his polemical influence beyond England to the Continent; even the Catholic bishop William Bishop admitted he had "not seene any book of like quality, published by a Protestant, to contain either more matter, or delivered in better method." Both the 1597 first edition and our 1598 second printing are rare: no other copies of either edition are recorded at auction by RBH or ABPC in the past 50 years. (ST16441)
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PJP Catalog: 78.159