In omnes Apostolicas epistolas, divi videlicet Pauli XIIII. et VII. canonicas, commentarii Heinrychi Bullingeri... accesserunt ad fine quoque duo libelli, alter de Testamento dei unico & aeterno, alter vero de Utraque. in Christo natura. Zurich, apud Christophorum Froschouerum,
BULLINGER Heinrich (1558.)
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Froschauer's fine woodcut device on both titles, woodcut initials, some large.2 vols in one. Folio. (323 x 200mm). ff. 731pp. 195pp. Contemporary blind-tooled pigskin over bevelled wooden boards, covers panelled with fillets and outer historiated roll of the muses Calliope, Thalia, Euterpe und Terpsichore and inner roll of medallion heads, leafy stamps in panels, clasps and catches remain, title lettered in ink at head of fore-edge (lower cover with tear but no loss).
Froschauer's edition of the Swiss reformer Bullinger's commentary on the Apostolic Letters includes as an appendix his De testamento seu foedere Dei unico et aeterno(A Brief Exposition of the One and Eternal Testament or Covenant of God). This important and highly influential treatise was the first devoted to covenant theology. It had first been published by Froschauer in a separate octavo edition of 1534 (VD16 B9722) and subsequently it is only repeated in his five folio editions of the Apostolic Letters (1537, 1539, 1544, 1549 & 1558 - see VD16 B9723-9727), all of which are rarely found. Charles S. McCoy and J. Wayne Baker in Fountainhead of Federalism: Heinrich Bullinger and the Covenantal Tradition(1991) argue that Bullinger's covenant doctrine, which went far beyond Zwingli's, was seminal for the further development of covenant or federal theology and the creation of federal political philosophy. "It is the first work that organizes the understanding of God, creation, humanity, human history and society around the covenant. It must be regarded therefore as the point of origin or the fountainhead of federalism as it has increasily come to permeate the world in the four and a half centuries since its publication".The present edition is scarce outside continental libraries and no copies are located by OCLC in the U.S.A.Provenance: Ownership inscription inside front-cover dated 1566, a few marginal annotations and underlinings.VD16 B4974, B9727 & B9740. Adams B3240. Ref: J. Wayne Baker, in, Oxford Encyclopaedia of the Reformation, I, pp. 227-230)
"His most distinctive doctrine was his theology of the covenant... Bullinger taught that there was only one covenant in history, from Adam to the present. God formed his people by means of the covenant. In Old Testament times one became a member of the covenanted community through circumcision, and in New Testament times through baptism. The covenant was bilateral and conditional. God promised to be all-sufficient for those who kept the conditions of the covenant. These conditions, faith in God and love of neighbour, had never changed in history. Therefore, even though all things became clearer with the advent of Christ, there was a unity of the people of the two eras as well as a untiy of the Old and New Testaments, the New Testament being nothing but the interpretation of the Old. The pattern for the Christian community was thus found in the Old Testament: the pastor was the successor of the prophets, and the magistrate was the successor of the kings. Therefore the magistrate alone, like the Old Testament kings, had the authority to establish religion and to discipline the Christian community. The covenant not only allowed Bullinger to defend infant baptism against the Anabaptists, but it also instructed his thought about divine grace, the importance of the law, the nature of the Christian community, and the process of history. Such a broad presentation went far beyond Zwingli's; though the two men had similar ideas on the covenant and the Christian community, Bullinger developed these ideas independently and more fully." (J. Wayne Baker, in, Oxford Encyclopaedia of the Reformation, I, pp. 227-230).
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