A Modest Enquiry into the Mystery of Iniquity,

MORE Henry (1664.)

£2850.00  [First Edition]

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the first part, containing a Careful and Impartial Delineation of the True Idea of Antichristianism in the Real and Genuine Members thereof, such as are indeed opposite to the indispensable Purposes of the Gospel of Christ, and to the Interest of his Kingdome. By H. More, D.D.

First Edition. Folio. [Binding: 300 x 198 mm]. [12], 478, [22 (Contents of Parts 1 & 2)], [4 (title & preface to The Apology)], 481-567, [5]pp., title printed in red black; second part (Synopsis Prophetica) and The Apology of Dr. Henry More have separate title-pages. Blank recto of imprimatur leaf a little dusty, I1-2 and 6 browned and a little spotted, some rust spotting to O2-3 causing a couple of small holes, small rust hole through Y6 (touching a couple of letters), small stain in the blank lower margin of Bb2-6 and Oo4-Pp4, some minor staining to the blank margins of the last couple of gatherings, off-setting from another title-page of the same book on the blank verso of the final leaf (this presumably occurred in the printing house when the book was still in sheets).


Handsome contemporary black morocco, covers with a double gilt fillet containing a central gilt panel with a tool at each corner, spine with six panels and five raised bands, the panels ruled in gilt, with tooling at the head and foot, gilt edges, comb-marbled pastedowns (joints and the head and tail of the spine rubbed; early 19th-Century gilt lettering directly on the 2nd spine panel).


London: J. Flesher for W. Morden Bookseller in Cambridge,

Wing M2666.

"His [More's] A Modest Enquiry into the Mystery of Iniquity, the first of several onslaughts against the Romanist menace, was a large-scale examination of Antichristianism, and an exposé of the Antichristian practices of the 'Imperious Lady of Rome'. At the same time, the Enquiry was a vigorous defence of the Church of England against the same charge of Antichristianism made by the Protestant nonconformists who were suffering under the impositions of Charles's parliament, and perhaps more predictably, it defended Anglicanism against the traditional Catholic charge of schism. In the Enquiry, as in other post-1660 writings, More's concern was to present the Church of England as the natural custodian of the pristine Christian message. For him the reestablishment of the Church of England was 'the recovery of the Church to her ancient apostolic purity', a purity that had become lost during the degenerate centuries preceding the Reformation" (Thomas M. Lennon, Problems of Cartesianism, 1982, p. 231).


More's Apology ... Wherein is contained as well a more General Account of the Manner and Scope of his Writings, which is appended to the main text, "constitutes a careful statement of his understanding of the role and importance of reason in divinity" (ODNB)

 Provenance:  2: Sir Francis Fust, 5th Baronet (1705-69, succ. 1728), of Hill Court, Gloucestershire, with his small armorial bookplate positioned near the foot of the front pastedown [plate size: 90 x 50 mm]; the plate dates to after his succession as baronet (1728) and before his death (1769); judging from its position near the bottom of the front pastedown it may once have been beneath an example of his large bookplate [170 x 95 mm., displaying forty quarterings, all named]; they often appear together. This has long been popular with bookplate collectors so it may well have been removed (very carefully and leaving perhaps just a faint horizontal line near the top) before the next owner, Bulkeley Bandinel, inserted his bookplate. The Fust Baronetcy became extinct with the death of the 6th Baronet in 1779; the library was dispersed following the death in 1841 of Miss Flora Langley (afterwards Langley Fust), a cousin of Miss Fanny Fust (d. 1827). Bulkeley Bandinel (1781-1861), under-librarian at the Bodleian Library (1810-13) and Bodley's Librarian (1813-60), with his large armorial bookplate on the front pastedown, sale, Sotheby, 16+/8/1861. Samuel Christy, afterwards Christie-Miller (d. 1889), of Britwell Court, with ?his pencil initials "SM" at the foot of the flyleaf and later pencil shelfmark "11. F. 5." on the verso of the front flyleaf; Britwell Court sale, Sotheby, 4/4/1927, lot 1296 [the bookplates unmentioned], £2 [buyer unknown]. Anon. sale, Sotheby, 19/7/1971, lot 325 [both bookplates mentioned], £50 to W. & G. Foyle (with their pencil note and price £125 on the flyleaf). Anon. sale, Dominic Winter, 14/9/2016, lot 339. 

Stock Code: 224658

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