English Presbyterian Eloquence: or, Dissenters Sayings ancient and modern. Collected from the Books and Sermons of the Presbyterians, &c. from the Reign of Queen Elizabeth to the present Time: wherein it appears, that the Presbyterians have constantly attempted to subvert the fundamental Articles of the Christian Faith; to abolish the Doctrine and Discipline of the Church of England establish’d by Law; to ruin the Characters of the Universities, the Convocation and the Episcopal Clergy; to asperse the Memory of his present Majesty’s Royal Progenitors; and have been profess’d Enemies to Truth, common Sense, and good Manners, from the first Settlement in this Kingdom. With Remarks upon every Chapter. …

London: Printed for T. Bickerton … 1720.

8vo., pp. [8], 143, [1], with half-title (corner defective), engraved frontispiece of a raucous Presbyterian sermon; generally soiled, some headlines shaved; modern quarter calf.


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First edition of a vehement anti-Presbyterian tract. The text comprises extracts from the work of contemporary Dissenting writers and politicians followed by Lewis’s own ‘Remarks’: ‘What vile Punning and Jingle is here, what a clutter about Melting and Ramming, and Firing, and Dismounting? Figures of speech so low and Unscholarlike, that the Dignity of the Commons, I believe, was never so prostituted …’

Lewis was a high-churchman of such severity that few parties escaped his censure. From 1717 he ran the polemical periodical The Scourge, for which the Whig government charged him with sedition and forced him into hiding. He attacked Toland in his Tetradymus (1720), and courted further controversy when he argued against the practice of burial in churches and churchyards, as endangering public health (Oxford DNB).

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