A PRACTICAL DISCOURSE CONCERNING DEATH, by William Sherlock - 1814 [1st US Ed]


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A Practical Discourse Concerning Death

by William Sherlock

FIRST AMERICAN EDITION. Albany, NY: Pratt & Doubleday, 1814.

Hardback is overall in GOOD condition.

  • Antiquarian volume features full leather binding and rounded spine.
  • Book displays significant commensurate wear. 
  • Boards exhibit overall rubbing with some cracks on leather, more on back, as well as a 0.75" hole on leather at head of front shoulder, and a smaller hole along shoulder near foot edge. 
  • Covers show commensurate edgewear. Corners are bumped with exposed boards. Boards are also exposed at shoulders ends on both covers.
  • Spine is darkened and shows some cracks, as well as chipping to ends. (See photos)
  • Binding is secure overall yet hinges are fragile, with cracking. (See photos)
  • Book has no feps if they were issued. 
  • Title page shows a small hole affecting part of title, and persisting to last page of dedication. (See photos)
  • Title page additionally has a 1" vertical tear going down to foot edge of page. 
  • Title page and first quarter of book show quite heavy foxing.
  • Interior shows commensurate age-toning with scattered foxing, occasionally pronounced. 
  • Inside pages are free of writing and intentional marks. 
  • Pages occasionally display some edgewear with corner creases, or edge bumping. 
  • Page 141-142 has a chip to foot corner, 1.25" x 0.5". (See photos)
  • Pages display one instance of a tiny hole into text. (See photos)
  • Pages display one instance of black ink staining in margin of page. 
  • Text block edges are stippled, and are toned.
  • Book may exhibit additional minor signs of age or wear.
  • SC20200220

280 pages. 4.25 x 6.75 inches.

Antiquarian volume features full leather binding and rounded spine.

Book includes a poem on Sherlock's work by "M. Prior", as well as a Dedicatory Preface by the author "To The Worshipful The Masters of the Bench, and the Rest of the Members of the two Honorable Societies of the Temple." Also includes a Table of Contents and an Introduction.

In this book the author approaches the problem of death as a key element to understand and practice Christianity. Esteemed in its century as one of the most popular theological books, the work discusses the idea of death as a source of enlightenment to the Christian, and as an invaluable help for living one's life profitably. The author argues that knowing the inevitable imminence of our own death we can only endeavor to distinguish our existence with actions that will profit us hereafter, and allow us to give a meritorious account of our life when this comes to an end. The best preparation for death, the author states, is to live one's life saintly. Indispensable to note is that this book was written at a time of great turmoil in England, that saw the fall of the British Monarchy, the Great Fire of London, the Plague, and the worst defeat of the Royal Navy. 

William Sherlock (c.1641-1707) was an English church leader who became master of the Temple. Controversial as much for his political as religious views, his antipapal preaching and his dispute with the king's chaplain, he is the author of works on the doctrine of the Trinity. His sermons were collected in two volumes that went through several editions.

PROVENANCE: bookplate on front pastedown, from the library of Kenneth Kaufman.

EDITION POINTS: First American Edition, stated "From the Seventeenth Glasgow Edition."

AS IS! Please see photos. More photos available upon request.

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