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    The "Summa" of New England Puritan Theology

    Samuel Willard. A Compleat Body of Divinity in Two Hundred and Fifty Expository Lectures on the Assembly's Shorter Catechism. Goston: B. Green and S. Kneeland for B. Eliot and D. Henchman, 1726.

    First edition. Folio. [2], iv, 3, The Author's Character, [4, List of Subscribers], 914, [1, Catalogue of the Author's Works], [3, blank] pages. With the rare frontispiece portrait (usually lacking, possibly supplied) inserted at front.

    Contemporary full paneled calf, rebacked in modern brown calf, tooled in black in compartments, six raised bands, burgundy gilt morocco lettering label. Some wear to covers, text toned, with some soiling and dampstaining. Frontispiece with several tape repairs. Contemporary ownership inscriptions. Overall, very good.

    The posthumous publication of this massive work was undertaken by Joseph Sewall and Thomas Prince. Samuel Willard (1640-1707) graduated from Harvard in 1659 and later was installed as pastor of the Old South Church in Boston. Perry Miller considered Compleat Body of Divinity the "summa" of New England Puritan theology. This was by far the largest work from a Colonial press up to that time.

    Brinley 7888. Dexter 2880. Evans 2828. Sabin 104075. Stevens Nuggets 2865. Streeter 675.

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