Philadelphia, PA: B. Franklin, 1745. 1st. Hardcover. New marbled paper-covered boards with tan linen spine cloth. Applied paper label with title summary printed in same style as original title-page, suitable endpapers inserted. Collation: Title-page, pp. 166-366. VG, light foxing at most to sheets, scattered but uncommon light dampstaining at edges, with very minor nicks at a few edges. Item #166575
This rare imprint comes from Benjamin Franklin's own hands and his Philadelphia press, published by commission from the Philadelphia Synod. It is the complete third section, with it's own title-page, from the larger publication printed by Franklin in 1745. The title of the complete publication was “Confession of Faith, the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, with the Scripture Proofs at Large Together with the Sum of Saving Knowledge (Contained in the Holy Scriptures, and held forth in the said Confession and Catechisms) and Practical Use thereof; Covenants National and Solemn League, Acknowledgment of Sins and Engagements to Duties, Directories, Form of Church Government, &c. of Public-Authority in the Church of Scotland. With Acts of Assembly and Parliament, relative to, and approbative of the same." Commonly refered to as the Westminster Confession, the entire publication was 567 numbered pages, followed by 25 unnumbered pages. The entire publication consisted of 12 parts (of which this is the first) as follows: I (TP facsimile). Mr. Manton's epistle to the reader (pp. 3-13), The preface by sundry English Divines (pp. 14-20). II (TP). The Confession of Faith (pp. 21-164) -- III (TP). The Larger Catechism, Agreed Upon by The Assembly of of Divines at Westminster... (pp. 165-366) -- IV (TP). The Shorter Catechism, Agreed Upon by The Assembly of of Divines at Westminster... (pp. 367-410)-- V (TP). The Sum of Saving Knowledge (pp. 411-446) -- VI (TP). The Confession of Faith of The King Of Scotland; or, The national covenant (pp. 447-462)-- VII (TP). The solemn league and covenant (pp. 463-470) -- VIII (TP). The Acknowedgment of Publick Sins, &c. (pp. 471-482) -- IX (TP). The Directory for Publick Worship of God... (pp. 483-521, blank) -- X (TP). The Form of Presbyterial Church-Government (pp. 523-557, blank) -- XI (TP). The directory for family-worship (pp. 559-567, blank) -- XII (no TP) A TABLE of the chief matters contained in the Confession of Faith, and Larger Catachism (unnumbered pages -23). The first American publication of the Confession, with the larger catechism and brief summary of Christian Doctrine added, was done in Boston by S. Kneeland for D. Henchman in 1723, from Rothwell's London edition of 1658. [as per Benjamin Franklin, as printer] used as his copy text, the Thomas Lumisden of John Robertson edition of Edinburgh, 1728, which with its completed 'canon' and accurate texts based on William Dunlop's edition of 1719 which represented the norm of Scottish editions. (Miller). At the time of publication Franklin was just 39 years old and the Revolution was thirty years away—a highly desirable early American piece. See: Miller, Benjamin Franklin's Philadelphia Printing, page 371. Sabin, 15445. Quite rare, either as the entire volume or individual sections.
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