Title: Theologiae vere Christianae Apologia
Publication Date: 1676
Edition: 1st Edition
BARCLAY, ROBERT. Theologiae vere Christianae Apologia. Amsterdam: Jacob Claus, for Benjamin Clark (London), Isaac van Neer (Rotterdam), and Heinrich Betke (Frankfurt), 1676. 4to. , 374,  p. Contemporary sprinkled calf, blind fillet around covers and run twice along spine, gilt sawtooth roll on board edges, spine with gilt fillet above and below each cord, old paper ms. title label. Hinges split but held securely by cords, corners bumped and tips worn through, spine with very faint white-ish cast. Internally there is a slight dampstain at the top margin, some slight, sporatic foxing and browning, and the edges of the endpapers are discolored from the leather turn-ins. A very good copy. The rare first edition of the classic exposition of the Quaker theology, in a very attractive contemporary binding. Following the founding of the Society of Friends by George Fox in 1647, its adherents issued a large body of minor polemical pamphlets and tracts. Barclay, the descendant of an ancient Scottish family, possessed "a degree of learning and logical skill very unusual amongst the early Quakers" (DNB), and was the first to rationally set forth the tenets of the Society. In 1675 he published his Theses Theologiae, a series of 15 propositions spelling out Quaker beliefs. The Apologia, which Barclay had printed in Amsterdam during a period of travel or voluntary exile, is a reasoned defence of each of the 15 theses set forth in the earlier work. As expressed by Barclay, the essential principle of the Quaker philosophy is that each human being possesses an "inner light," by which the soul perceives the truth of divine revelation; it follows from this that outward ceremonies and sacraments are irrevelant. Barclay's "recognition of a divine light working in men of all creeds harmonises with the doctrine of toleration, which he advocates with great force and without the restrictions common in his time" (DNB). Barclay's Apologia is one of the great theological works of the seventeenth century, and it remains remarkable for the clarity and logic of its exposition. It was first published in English in 1678, widely translated, and remains in print today. The original Latin edition. Bookseller Inventory # 12467
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