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    A Sammelband of Eight Works on the
    Middletonian Controversy over Miraculous

    [Middletonian Controversy]. Thomas Ashton. A Dissertation on II Peter i. 19. In which is shewn, I. That the Interpretation of this Passage, in the Apostle, as it is propos'd by the Author of The Grounds and Reasons of the Christian Religion, is not, probably, the Sense of the Author...London: Printed for J. and R. Tonson and S. Draper, 1750. [Bound together with:] An Impartial Examination Of the Bishop of London's late Appendix to a Dissertation on the Sense of the Ancients before Christ upon the Circumstances and Consequences of the Fall...London: Printed for C. Corbet, 1750. [And:] Remarks on Dr. Sherlock's First Dissertation...London: Printed for M. Cooper, 1750. [And:] The Plan of a Supplement to Dr. Middleton's Free Enquiry, Exhibited in a Dissertation on the Baptism and Miraculous Gifts of the Holy Ghost...London: Printed by D. Henry, for J. Payne, and J. Bouquet, 1750. [And:] An Examination of the Consequences of Dr. Middleton's Free Enquiry, &c. To which are added, Some Observations, in order to confute what he has objected to the Lord Bishop of London's Discourses on the Use and Intent of Prophecy. London: Printed for W. Owen, 1750. [And:] [Arthur Ashley Sykes]. Two Questions, Previous to Dr. Middleton's Free Enquiry, Impartially Considered: viz. What are the Grounds upon which the Credibility of Miracles, in general, is founded? And Upon what Grounds the Miracles of the Gospel, in particular, are credible? London: Printed for J. and P. Knapton, 1750. [And:] Thomas Jenkin. An Impartial Examination of the Free Inquiry: The Primitive Fathers Vindicated, and The Necessity of Miracles maintain'd, to the Conclusion of the Third Century. In A Letter to Dr. Middleton. Cambridge: Printed by J. Bentham, Printed to the University..., 1750. [And:] Frederick Toll. Some Remarks upon Mr. Church's Vindication of Miraculous Powers, &c. With An Observation or Two upon Dr. Stebbing's Christianity Justified, First editions. Together with eight works in one octavo volume (7.75 x 4.75 inches; 198 x 123 mm.). 153, [1, blank]; viii, 109, [1, blank]; [8], 1-8, 17-23, [1, blank] (text continuous); [2, title (verso blank)], [3]-20, [1, advertisement], [1, blank]; [2, title (verso blank], 36; [6], 129, [1, advertisement]; [2, title (verso blank], 116; 53, [1, blank] pages. A few works bound without half-titles. Some decorative woodcut title-page ornaments, head- and tail-pieces, and initials.

    Contemporary calf. Spine ruled in gilt with five raised bands and evidence of a title label (gilt rules at front joint) having once been present. The binding is rubbed and worn, with a few areas of surface loss, especially at the edges; spine ends chipped, with loss of a small piece (one-quarter by one-half inch) piece at head of spine; front joint starting at head of spine. Stab holes visible in the gutter margin of a few works. Diagonal tear across lower corner of Q1 (pages 121/122) in the first work, where it was adhered to Q2. Occasional foxing and browning; small intermittent stain in the upper margin. A few upper corners faintly creased; a few lower corners folded up. A very good, sturdy copy. Early ink inscriptions on front pastedown: "2907 / Dd Davies / Nov-2 1843" and below that the ink signature of James Weale.
    ESTC N6700; T37023; T175349; T175323; T86630; T10806; T154523; and T49389.

    More Information:

    Conyers Middleton (1683-1750), Church of England clergyman and author, was known for his controversial writings. "Mired in controversy and disputes, and with a reputation as an unbeliever, he was also considered one of the best stylists in English of his time...The years 1747-8 produced Middleton's most significant theological writings. The Introductory Discourse and the Free Inquiry addressed 'the miraculous powers which are supposed to have subsisted in the church from the earliest ages.' Middleton suggested two propositions: that ecclesiastical miracles must be accepted or rejected in the mass; and that there is a distinction between the authority due to the early Church Fathers' testimony to the beliefs and practices of their times, and their credibility as witnesses to matters of fact. In 1750, he attacked Thomas Sherlock's notions of antediluvian prophecy, which had been published 25 years before. Among those who answered, or defended Sherlock, were: Thomas Ashton; Julius Bate; Anselm Bayly; Zachary Brooke; Thomas Church; Joseph Clarke; William Cooke; William Dodwell; Ralph Heathcote; John Jackson; Laurence Jackson; John Rotheram; Thomas Rutherforth; and Thomas Secker" (Wikipedia).


    "Dr. Conyers Middleton in 1747 published an Introductory Discourse to a larger Work concerning the miraculous Powers, which are supposed to have subsisted in the Christian Church from the earliest ages, through sever successive centuries: Tending to shew, that we have no sufficient reason to believe, upon the authority of the primitive Fathers, that any such powers were continued in the Church, after the days of the Apostles. This larger work cam forth in 1749, intituled, A Free Inquiry into the miraculous Powers, which are supposed to have subsisted, &c. by which it is shewn, that we have no sufficient reason to believe, upon the authority of the primitive Fathers, that any such powers were continued to the Church, after the days of the Apostles: an argument, which he owns in the first page of the preface to his Free Inquiry, both strange and little understood; a subject of great importance, which had never before been professedly examined; the part, which he had undertaken to defend, not only new, but contrary to the general opinion, which prevails amongst Christians...Both this Discourse and Free Inquiry, from their first appearance, have been earnestly maintained by some, and as earnestly oppugned by others" (Introduction to M. Needham, A Review Of the Important Controversy concerning Miracles, and the Protestant Systems relative to it ([1758]), pages [1]-2).

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2016
    6th Wednesday
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