A Collection of Sermons on Various Occasions
Seller ID: 1452
Oxford: Ric. Royston and Ric. Davis, 1671. Various editions (pp. viii, 431). Quarto (21 cm) in full modern calf, four raised bands; gilt titles in label to spine; new endpapers; absent any half-title page. The collection comprises nine sermons and a brief additional commentary by Pierce, the Dean of Salisbury Cathedral, President of St. Marie Magdalen College in Oxford, and Chaplain in Ordinary to Charles II. The titles are (I) 'Englands Season for Reformation of Life. A Sermon Delivered in St. Paul's Church, London: on the Sunday Next following His Sacred Majesties Restauration. M. DC. LX.' (II) 'A Sermon Preached At St. Margarets Westminster by the Order of the Honourable the House of Commons in Parliament Assembled, Upon the 29th Day of May, being the Anniversary Day of the King's and the Kingdom's Restauration. MD. DC. LXI.' (III) 'Mercy and Judgment Met Together. A Sermon Preached at the Abby Church of Westminster by the Order of the Right Honourable the House of Lords in Parliament Assembled, Upon a Solemn Day of Humiliation occasioned by the Great Rain in June and July, MD. DC. LXI.' (IV) 'The Embassy of the Rod and the Audience which It Requires. A Sermon Preached Before the King at White Hall, Upon the Wednesday- Monthly Fast, when the Pestilence Decreased, but yet Continued, As did also the War with the French and the Dutch, 1665.' (V) 'Concio Synodica de Potestate Ecclesiastica, ad Clerum Anglicanum, ex Provincia praesertim Cantuariensi, in Aede Paulina Londinensi habita VIII. Idus Maias, MDCLXI.' (VI) 'Concio Academica de Hierarchia Seculari, Speciatim & Praesertim De Jure Regum, Habita in Templo Beatae Marie apud Oxonienses, Pro Termino Inchoando XIV. Calendas Maias, M. DC. LXIIII.' (VII) 'The Purification of Our Lady, and Presentation of Our Lord. A Sermon Preached before the King at White-Hall upon Candlemas Day, 1661.' (VIII) 'A Sermon Preached upon Act-Sunday-Morning at St. Maries Church in Oxford July 10. MDCLIV, Touching the Usefulness and Necessity of Humane Learning, together with its Insufficiency without the Help of the Divine.' (IX) 'The Primitive Rule of Reformation: Delivered in a Sermon before His Majesty at Whitehall, Feb: 1. 1662. In Vindication of Our Church Against the Novelties of Rome. Published by His Majesties Special Command. The Ninth Edition.' (X) 'A Paraenesis to the Reader, Touching the Sermon Going Before, and the Discourse Which follows after of Romes Pretended Infallibility.' Not included is a sermon delivered 'Before a Rural Congregation, at the Funeral of Edward Peyto of Chesterton in Warwick-shire Esquire, 1659' the final item on the table of contents. It may never have been bound in as there are no signs of its having been removed. Thomas Pierce (1621- 1691), according to the biographical sketch by John Parkin in ODNB, was a royalist divine and religious controversialist who was 'ejected' from his fellowship at Magdalen College, Oxford, at the behest of parliamentary visitors and for the duration of the protectorate sojourned in the countryside with occasional educational trips into Europe as tutor to the son of the Countess of Sunderland, one of the Spencers. He saw to it, however, that at the Restoration of 1660 he was suitably rewarded for his loyalty to the English church and crown. Indeed, when his candidacy for President of St. Marie Magdalen College met with general disapprobation (as he would have said), the appointment was foisted on the College by royal letter where, as Parkin observes, "His talent for satire and invective did not serve him well in his new post. " In addition to the presidency of the college which he held for ten disputatious years, Pierce was eventually appointed reader in theology at Oxford, canon at Canterbury, rector of Brington, lecturer at Carfax and, for good measure, held the prebend of Langford Manor. Pierce was widely known for his lengthy feud with the bishop of Salisbury, Seth Ward, with whom he served as dean, and, like most feuds, especially those of ecclesiastical or academic origin, damaged both reputations without resolving the issue in question. The Calvinist Richard Baxter, says Parkin, "who suffered particularly from Pierce's malicious style, characterized him as 'a confident man, that had a notable Stile and Words at Will, and a venomous railing Pen and Tongue against the Puritans and Calvinists.'" Pierce's writings, his sermons chiefly, do not stand comparison with those of his near contemporary, Jeremy Taylor, with whom he shared similar theological (and therefore political) convictions. Pierce's combative temperament, in adapting to the intellectual warfare of the time, favoured the pamphleteer's sharpened pen. Examples of Pierce's work are uncommon, especially in large, representative chunks such as this. A dozen early pages a bit chipped at the margins, pages lightly toned at the top edge; a clean, solid copy in a suitable seventeenth century style binding.
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