A Discourse of Humane Reason: With Relation to Matters of Religion.
[Popple, William.]

London: Awnsham Churchill, 1690. First edition. Rebacked to style. Ink annotation on front free endpaper, listing the other former owners, including the second, third and fourth Dukes of Buccleuch, army office John Clark Kennedy (1817-1867), and others. Armorial bookplate of Clark Kennedy. Board edges lightly worn in places, but a very good and interesting copy of a rare work. Contemporary sheep with gilt arms on both covers of James Douglas, second duke of Queensberry and first duke of Dover (1662-1711), Secretary of State for Scotland. Small octavo. [2], vi, 96 pp. (Item ID: 15918)

$2,000.00

Martin Clifford (1624-1677), the atheist headmaster of the Charterhouse, anonymously published A Treatise on Humane Reason in 1674. It called for a critical confutation of constituted authority, faith in one's own reasoned convictions, and tolerance toward the beliefs and opinions of others. It caused considerable controversy and was a precursor of Locke's famous Essay (1690). William Popple (1638-1708), the Unitarian minister who later translated Locke's Letter on Toleration from the Latin (1689), published a French translation of Clifford's work in 1682. It was instrumental in spreading the controversy to the continent. The present work was considered of unknown authorship, but is now known to have been written by Popple. It undoubtedly owes much to the ideas of both Clifford and Locke.

Wing D1598 (under title).

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