London: Printed for E. Curll, 1717. First edition. Despite the odd pagination, the text is complete. Pp.33-48 contain “Oratio funebris” by John Barber and may be taken from another work. Engraved frontisportrait. Rebacked to style, with gilt burgundy morocco label. Corners worn, a little light foxing. A good copy. Contemporary panelled calf, with gilt medallion of the Athenaeum Library on the front cover. Octavo. . , 240; 96, 33-48 pp. Item #14373
South (1634-1716) was educated at Christ Church, Oxford, where he was a contemporary of John Locke. He was an important Church of England controversialist throughout the second half of the seventeenth century. While many of the same issues prompted Locke and South to write about toleration, scriptural interpretation, politics and education, they disagreed intensely on these matters. Where Locke abandoned his opposition to religious dissent in 1667, South remained opposed to toleration for nonconformists throughout his life. In his view, dissent from the official Church of England would result in the subversion of the entire political order” (Dictionary of Seventeenth-Century British Philosophers). Despite disagreements, Locke and South continued to correspond, and Locke presented several of his books, including the Essay, to South.
South was made rector of Islip in 1678. He was offered but declined the see of Rochester in 1713. He was known for his pithy and sometimes humorous sermons. He was a popular speaker, and his sermons were often reissued. See Yolton, Bibliography of John Locke.