Plaifere on Predestination, a "Middle Knowledge" approach, London, 1651, First Edition
PLAIFERE, JOHN. Appello Evangelium for the True Doctrine of the Divine Predestination, Concorded with the Orthodox Doctrine of Gods Free-Grace, and Mans Free-Will.
By John Plaifere, B.D. Sometime Fellow of Sidney-Suffex Col. in Cambridge and late Rector of Debden in Suffolk. ad Amicum. Amice, Evangelium appellasti? Ad Avangeliu ibis. Bern. in Cant. Ser. 65. Responsio. Nullus reprehensor formidandus est amatori Veritatis Aug.de Trin. in Pro?m. Hereunto is added Dr. Chr. Potter his owne Vindication in a Latter to Mr. V. touching the same Points. London, Printed by J. G. for John Clark, and are to be sold at his shop under S. Peters Church in Cornhill, 1651. Small octavo, 10 x 15cm.
Bound contemporary calf boards with simple double fillets in blind, sometime rebacked in leather in same simple style, original leather on corners chipped and scuffed with boards showing at corners and in places along edges, vertical crease lines in spine leather, red page edges with author and first word of title written on fore-edge, later (probably 19th century) endpapers but with later material added along hinges, small removed name plate on front paste-down endpaper, pages with light to medium foxing, scattered damp stains.
Bookseller's tag on top outside corner of front paste-down endpaper: "J.(?) Leslie, Theological Bookseller, 52 Gt. Queen Srt Lincolns Inn Fields, London." 19th century owner's name on front free endpaper: "Stephen Eliott Jr. 1840."
Collation: A4, B-Y8. Pagination: (1) title, (1) blank, (2) contents, (4) bookes...printed for John Clark, 1-, (1) errata. Page 435 is misnumbered 419. Dr Potter his own vindication of himselfe, has a separate dated title page on leaf V8 recto. First Edition. It was issued again in 1652 and 1653. Wing (CD Rom, 1966) P2419. Online English Short Title Catalogue citation number: R32288 with 14 copies in UK libraries and 6 U.S. libraries including Brown Univ.; Folger Shakespeare; Newberry Libr.; Union Theol. Sem.; UCLA; Univ. Ill. OCLC adds Cornell Univ; General Theol. Sem.; Newberry Libr; New Orleans Bapt. Theol. Sem.; Calvin Col. & Theol. Sem.; Bethel Theol. Sem. Libr.; Columbia Univ.; Univ. Toronto--Fisher Libr.
"This brings us to the name of John Plaifere. Little is actually known about this seventeenth-century figure. The title page of his work reveals most of what is known, "Sometime Fellow of Sidney-Sussex Col. in Cambridge, and late Rector of Debden in Suffolk." In 1719 a work was published anonymously and entitled, A Collection of Tracts Concerning Predestination and Providence, and the other Points Depending on Them (1719). The volume consisted of four essays, one of which was Plaifere's An Appeal to the Gospel, for the True Doctrin [sic] of Divine Predestination, Concorded with the Orthodox Doctrin of God's Free-Grace, and Man's Free-Will. This work originally appeared in 1651, bound with Barnaby Potter's A Letter of the Learned Chr. Potter, D.D. Vindicating his Sentiments in these Controversies."
"In Plaifere's work many references were made to middle knowledge, demonstrating a thorough knowledge of the issue, both historically and philosophically. In it, he put forward five opinions about predestination. After showing the weaknesses of the first four he then suggested a fifth, which he said, is that of Arminius, which he interpreted accords to his own principles, in his Theses de natura Dei, "...and the [Jesuit] Molina ...and may therefore be less acceptable to some for the sake of the Teachers and Defenders of it; but a lover of Truth will not be prejudiced against it, because it hath besides these, the unanimous suffrage of the Fathers, Greek and Latin, before St. Augustine, if their Doctrine concerning Prescience be rightly examined, and explained..." "Plaifere referred to both Molina and Arminius and argued that predestination takes place on the basis of middle knowledge. God considered all things that were possible. From the realm of the possible God knew that if grace were offered to certain individuals they would reject it, while others would accept it. In explaining middle knowledge, or scientia media, what is significant is that Plaifere quoted both Arminius and Molina as proponents of middle knowledge."--Barry E. Bryant: Molina, Arminus, Plaifere, Goad, and Wesley On Human Free-will, Divine Omniscience, and Middle Knowledge, From the Wesleyan Theological Journal;
"Finding ammunition in the bugbear of Antinomianism, Arminian Anglicans set going a concerted offensive against the doctrine of predestination that lasted throughout the 1650s and into the Restoration years. In 1651 a manuscript by John Plaifere, originally written apparently for the author's own satisfaction, was published posthumously with the title Appeal to Gospel for True Doctrine of Divine Predestination. Plaifere had been a Suffolk rector until his death in 1632, and to claim him for Arminianism had the benefit of adding further precedent to the cause. In the text, Plaifere roundly declared the teaching of Arminius to be consonant with that of the ancient church fathers."--Dewey D. Wallace Jr.: Puritans and Predestination: Grace in English Protestant Theology, 1525-1695.
UNC Press, 1982, p.122.
Title: Appello Evangelium for the True Doctrine of the Divine Predestination,
Illustrator: London, Printed by J. G. for John Clark, and are to be sold at his shop under S. Peters Church in Cornhill
Categories: THEOLOGY, BINDINGS-LEATHER, ARMINIANISM, 17TH CENTURY BOOKS,
Edition: First Edition
Binding: Bound contemporary calf boards, rebacked
Book Condition: Good
Size: Small octavo, 10 x 15cm.
Weight: 2.00 Item
Book Number: 17368
Keywords: 17th Century Books, Leather Bindings, Free Grace, Free Will, Predestination, Theology