12mo, pp. , 378, with an engraved frontispiece; title-page printed and red and black; Greek text in two columns throughout; interleaved with blanks and consequently bound in three volumes, in contemporary reversed calf, tooled in blind, morocco labels; spines worn and dry, bookblock of the first volume split; internally a fine copy, extensively annotated in two(?) contemporary hands in English, Latin and Greek on the blanks in the first and second olumes, ownership signature of David Williams.
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Της Καινης Διαθηκης Απαντα. Novum Testamentum.
Interleaved and heavily annotated copy of the third Tonson & Watts edition of the Greek New Testament, the text as edited by Michael Maittaire (first published 1714). Thomas Jefferson owned a copy of this edition, sold to the Library of Congress in 1815.
This copy, bound with interleaved blanks for notes, has been heavily annotated in Matthew and Mark, the beginning of John, and Romans, with original biblical commentary both linguistic and theological, e.g. for the former (on John XX.17): ‘αναβεβηκα. The aorist is often put for the present tense, as also the preterperfect. The sense is here I do not yet ascend, so that you may after have opportunities of conversing &c with me’; and for the latter (on John I.17): ‘The Law was given by Moses, who was Gods Minister, by whom the Law wch reveal wrath was given to the Jews, but Grace & Truth by Jes. Christ. Grace in opposition to the Condemnatory Curse & Sentence of the Law, the Letter killeth but the Spirit giveth Life. Grace of pardon and Reconciliation & grace for the Remission of Sin. Truth in opposition to the Types, Shadows & Ceremonies of the Legal Administration’. Unusually, some of the interpolations are written as if from Christ’s perspective: ‘my young disciples taken not from the Schools or Academies, as perhaps those of John or the Pharisees might be, but from their fishing trades & suchlike must not presently be put to such severe tasks for which they are not yet strong enough, least they should be discouraged & fall from me.’ Some, like this las, are signed ‘W’, presumably Williams; others ‘C’.
The endpapers include more general material, including a short essay on moral laws, which ‘have their foundation in the Reason and Nature of things, & therefore their Obligation will never cease’, and an explanatory list of the ‘offices & Conditions of men’ in the Bible, from Judges and Publicans to Sadducees, who ‘Denied the Resurrection of the Dead, the being of Angels, & the existence of the Spirits or Souls of men departed. They were a very ill-nature sort of men, churlish & morose … even to each other …’. Elsewhere we find that ‘The Name of Publican, whose offic it was to gather the Tribute, was very grievious [sic] to the Greeks & Romans, for they made unlawful Exactions. He is a Publican, a Whirlpit, a Gulph of Rapine.’
Although the specific David Williams responsible for the annotations has not yet been identified, from their tenor he is possibly an Independent or involved in the Welsh Methodist revival, plausibly David Williams of Watford (1709–1784).
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A PRESENTATION COPYFROM HERSCHEL TO LACROIX HERSCHEL, John F.W.
On the Development of exponential Functions, together with several new Theorems relating to finite Differences … from the philosophical Transactions.
Presentation copy of one of Herschel’s earliest papers, an offprint from the Philosophical Transactions inscribed by the author to Silvestre Lacroix. Though the majority of his scientific celebrity was founded on his later work in astronomy, John Herschel’s (1792–1871) early promotion of continental analysis proved a significant contribution to British mathematics. With fellow undergraduates at Cambridge, principally Charles Babbage and George Peacock, Herschel established in 1811 the Analytical Society, which proved instrumental in ending the isolation of the Cambridge curriculum from continental mathematics and promoting the work of European mathematicians. First among these was Silvestre Lacroix (1765–1843), to whom this copy is inscribed, and whose Traité du calcul différentiel et du calcul integral was translated by Herschel in the same year.
‘FOR THE CARRYING ON AND MANAGING OF A PUBLICK BANK’ [BANK OF SCOTLAND.]
Act of Parliament for erecting a bank in Scotland. Edinburgh, July 17 1695.
Very rare edition of the Act of Parliament establishing Scotland’s first and oldest bank, founded just one year after the Bank of England.