(s.l. s.n. Printed Anno Domini, 1658). 190 x 135 mm. (7 1/2 x 5 3/8"). 3 p.l., 14 pp. (complete). FIRST EDITION.
20th century vellum-backed marbled boards, flat spine with vertical titling. Front pastedown with bookplate of the Fox Pointe Collection. Wing P-2842B; ESTC R207754. ◆Text lightly washed and pressed (but still crisp), faint foxing to lower edge of title page, otherwise a fine, fresh copy in an unworn binding.
Written by an opinionated English cleric, this is an extraordinarily rare pamphlet proposing an unusual fund to support young 17th century scholars. According to DNB, the scheme outlined in the present work was meant "to support the university studies of young men of promise seeking entry into the ministry." The plan "was approved by John Worthington and Anthony Tuckney, and had the support also of John Arrowsmith DD, Ralph Cudworth, William Dillingham DD, and Benjamin Whichcote. The fund raised about £900, and it appears that William Sherlock, afterwards dean of St Paul's, received assistance from this fund during his studies at Peterhouse, Cambridge, until 1660, when he graduated BA. Those entrusted with administering the fund sent Poole regular reports on students interviewed and the ratings they had received in philosophy, logic, and languages. The scheme was abandoned at the Restoration." Poole (1624? - 79) was the author of a number of controversialist pamphlets on subjects ranging from Unitarianism to preaching by lay persons, before undertaking his major work: a synthesis of critical biblical commentaries, "Synopsis criticorum aliorumque sacrae scripturae interpretum." This is one of his scarcest writings: ESTC lists seven copies, two in North America, while ABPC and RBH record just two copies at auction. (ST16442)