Edinburgh: Printed by Murray & Cochrane. For T. Cadell. 1786. First edition. With the printed presentation leaf to Richard Bishop of Worcester, before the title-page. Verso of title-page with two old rubberstamps of St. Andrews University, one for deaccession. A very good copy. Contemporary marbled boards, rebacked and recornered in recent calf, gilt flat spine with burgundy morocco label. Quarto. , 214 pp. Item #15590
David Dalrymple, third baronet, Lord Hailes (1726-1792) was a Scottish advocate, judge, and historian. His best known work was his Annals of Scotland (1776-9). In the present work, he attacked Gibbon over his account of the effect of Christianity on the decline of the Roman empire. Controversial when it was published, it was a minor blow in the ongoing controversy between theological traditionalists such as Hailes and more liberal thinkers, led by David Hume.