“THE GREATEST THEOLOGICAL PERFORMANCE OF OUR AGE AND COUNTRY”: THOMAS SCOTT’S BIBLE WITH COMMENTARY, ILLUSTRATED AND HANDSOMELY BOUND
BIBLE. The Holy Bible… With Explanatory Notes, Practical Obsevations, and Copious Marginal References. By Thomas Scott. Glasgow, Edinburgh and London: William Mackenzie, circa 1880. Two volumes. Folio (11 by 15 inches), contemporary full brown morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spines and boards, raised bands, all edges gilt. $2500.
Later edition of Scott’s copiously annotated Bible, illustrated with 5 maps and 41 engraved plates, handsomely bound.
Although ordained a deacon in 1772, Scott took holy orders more to secure his own comfort than to proclaim Christian doctrine, much of which he did not believe. In the late 1770s, however, a friendship with John Newton (author of the hymn “Amazing Grace”) led to the awakening of Scott’s sincerely evangelical faith. As he wrote in his memoir The Force of Truth (1779), “Forever blessed be the God of long suffering and mercy, who had patience with such a rebel and blasphemer, such an irreverent trifler with his majesty, and such a presumptuous intruder into his sacred ministry!” With great zeal, Scott renewed his devotion to both his parishioners and his biblical studies. This commentary won him a large reputation (though not large royalties, due to his publisher’s debts). “Sir James Stephen does not hesitate to speak of it as ‘the greatest theological performance of our age and country” (DNB). First published in 174 weekly numbers between 1789-92, this edition is embellished with 5 maps and 41 engraved plates, several after paintings by noted biblical painter John Martin (said to have possessed “the genius that to madness nearly is allied” by Art Journal editor S.C. Hall) and a few after photographs by “the most prominent of the early photographers of Egypt and the Holy Land,” Francis Frith (McDarrah & McDarrah, 156). Without preliminary gatherings A-E in Volume I; all biblical text present. See Darlow & Moule 952; Herbert 1366. Houfe, 223.
Occasional light foxing. About-fine condition.