FIRST EDITION OF JOHN COTTON'S THE CHURCHES RESURRECTION, 1642
COTTON, John. The Churches Resurrection, Or the Opening of the First and fixt verses of the 20th CHAP. of the Revelation. London: Printed by R.O. & G.D. for Henry Overton, 1642. Slim quarto, 20th-century paper boards. $9800.
First edition of this learned 17th-century American examination of the Revelation in light of the events of the English Civil War.
"Chief among the guiding spirits of the first generation of the Massachussetts Bay Colony in New England was the Reverend John Cotton, teacher of the First Church in Boston" (Tuttle, 363). In addition to his long and influential preaching ministry from that pulpit, Cotton played a major role in translating the psalms as published in the Bay Psalm Book (1640)—the first true book printed in America. In The Churches Resurrection, Cotton "describes a much more active role for New England in determining the shape of the last days. As he does in The Powring Out of the Seven Vialls, Cotton explains that the events of the millennium will take place according to God's hidden timetable. But Cotton also suggests that a rare opportunity exists for a national gathering of churches to actually serve as the millennial nation if those churches are found to be sufficiently regenerate upon the commencement of the millennium, at that moment when the Jews are converted, the Antichrist destroyed, and Satan bound" (John Hales, "American Millennialism and The Crater"). Writing during the English Civil War, "Cotton asserted that God did not give the keys of the bottomless pit to magistrates but to spiritual governors. Nor were those spiritual governors the hierarchy of the church at home. Episcopal terrains, Cotton preached were 'plantations God hath not planted'; those who doted on bishops 'undermine all reformation' and served not Christ but Antichrist. It was in New not Old England that there was to be a 'resurrection… from resting in forms.' There the church was 'but a company, a body of godly persons', demonstrating signed of saving grace and all were 'spiritual priests and kings unto God.' To those tempted to return to their native country, as it was rent by civil war, Cotton presented a choice between sacred and reprobate communities, Jerusalem and Babylon" (Sharpe, 131). ESTC R27919. Wing C6419. Sabin 17054. Armorial bookplate of Fairfax of Cameron, specifically the Scottish peer Albert Kirby Fairfax, 12th Lord Fairfax. Fairfax was American-born and his family had virtually forgotten the hereditary title. He reclaimed it in 1908 and entered the House of Lords as a newly minted UK citizen. Armorial bookplate of the "Fox Pointe Collection. Library of Dr. & Mrs. H.R. Knohl." Linda and Howard Knohl have earned a reputation as distinguished art and book collectors, with a particular focus on 16th- and 17th-century English literature.
A few tiny tape repairs to verso of title page and verso of first page of text, occasional faint foxing to interior. A near-fine copy.