1652. London: Printed by T.M. for Ralph Smith, 1652.
Small 8vo (140 x 90 mm), (24), 296 pp. A b B-T V (A1 blank). Contemporary gilt-stamped morocco, considerable wear to morocco and to margins of first signature, some loss to title page affecting fleur-de-lis border, binding is shaken but holding. Pencil signatures of George and Elizabeth Adams of Melbourne (probably Derbyshire) on front pastedown. An unsophisticated copy of a scarce book, likely in its original binding.
§ First edition of an early work by the nonconformist minister, Thomas Watson (d.1686), chaplain to the Puritan Lady Mary Vere (to whom this book is dedicated), later rector of St Stephen’s Walbrook in the City of London, and ejected from there for nonconformity in 1662, just three years before the medieval structure was destroyed in the Great Fire. He was a prolific writer and popular preacher; this work ran to six editions in his lifetime. Of him the DNB notes “His early literary output was exhortatory and devotional rather than didactic” (and this work opens particularly cheerfully: “Happiness is the mark and center which every man aims at. The next thing that is sought after being, is being happy...”). “The Christian’s Charter (1652) is a paean on the privileges and delights of the Christian; inter alia it describes the Christian’s resurrection body as ‘enamelled with glory’” (DNB). Only four other copies of the first edition located: British Library, Colombia, Huntington, and Yale. ESTC R209213. Wing (2nd ed.) W1111. Item #107358