London: Printed by R.W. for H. Mortlock…, 1676. First edition. Both joints starting to crack, a couple of small stains on back cover. Early ink ownership signature (G. Courthop… 1720/1”) on front free endpaper; the same owner’s signature on the title-page and a terminal blank. A very good copy. Contemporary calf. Gilt-decorated spine with morocco label. Small octavo. , 212 pp. Lacks initial blank leaf, though the final blank leaf is present. Item #11818
Glanvill (1636-1678) established himself as a skeptic with the publication of his first book, The Vanity of Dogmatizing (1661). This and numerous later publications investigated philosophical and religious views from a skeptical point of view. Glanvill is generally referred to as a disciple of Henry More, the Cambridge Platonist, and as a precursor of David Hume, whose theory of causation is said to owe something to Glanvill. (See “Joseph Glanvill: Precursor of Hume,” an article by Richard Popkin in Journal of the History of Ideas, 1953, pp. 292-303. See also the Popkin biography of Glanvill in Dictionary of Seventeenth-Century British Philosophers). Despite his importance, Glanvill still seems to have been studied very little by historians of philosophy in the past fifty or sixty years. The present work is presented in the form of four sermons: I. “The Sin and Danger of Scoffing at Religion;” II. “The Church’s Contempt from Prophane and Fanatick Enemies;” III. “Moral Evidence of a Life to come;” and IV. “The serious Consideration of the Future of Judgement.” Glanvill’s works are generally well represented in libraries and other repositories. The present title is less common than most, with nine copies listed in the British Isles and eight in North America. No copy is listed as having appeared at auction in the last twenty-five years by ABPC.