EARLY 17TH-CENTURY KING JAMES BIBLE AND 18TH-CENTURY SCOTTISH PSALTER, VERY HANDSOMELY BOUND TOGETHER IN FULL CALF-GILT
BIBLE. The Holy Bible, Containing the Old Testament and the New. BOUND WITH: [The Psalms of David in Metre, as allowed by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland]. London: Robert Barker and the Assignes of John Bill, 1637 [i.e., 1638]. (Psalter) Edinburgh: Thomas Lumisden and John Robertson, 1746. Thick octavo, mid-18th century full polished red calf gilt, elaborately gilt-decorated spine, raised bands, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt.
Early edition of the King James Bible, bound with an 18th-century edition of the Scottish metrical psalter, in handsome full polished calf-gilt.
First published in 1611, the King James Bible is "the only literary masterpiece ever to be produced by a committee"; Macaulay praised it as "a book, which if everything else in our language should perish, would alone suffice to show the whole extent of its beauty and power" (PMM 114). This copy bound with a mid-18th century edition of the influential Scottish metrical psalter, authorized by the Church of Scotland and first published in 1650. "The Scottish Church was persuaded by Calvin's teaching that, first, praising God was the right of the whole congregation… and second, that only material from the Bible should be used. The psalms were translated into meter mainly for ease of recollection, but the fact that the original Hebrew psalms were also metrical was regarded as something of a divine injunction. Hymns were gradually introduced in the 19th century but they never supplanted the psalms" (New Grove 15:371). Text set in two columns of Roman type, illustrated with woodcut initials and ornamental head- and tailpieces. Includes ornamental woodcut New Testament title page dated 1638, as issued. Without Apocrypha. Psalter published in Edinburgh by Thomas Lumisden and John Robertson, 1746. STC 2323. Darlow & Moule 401. Herbert 519.
Some leaves closely cropped, seldom affecting text. Closed tear to leaf Ee1 (Esther 8:3-10:3), with minor loss to marginal notes. Mild rubbing to spine, a few small abrasions to boards. A finely bound volume in excellent condition.