Venning, Ralph. Orthodox Paradoxes & The New Command Renew'd (London, 1652)

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Venning, Ralph. Orthodox Paradoxes, Theoretical and Experimental (bound with) The New Command Renew'd or, Love one another. London: Printed for John Rothwell and L. Chapman, 1652. Fifth Edition.

Binding: Hardcover (Quarter Leather). Book Condition: Very Good+ Condition. Size: 5"-6" - Vigesimo-quarto (24mo). 37 + 50 pages. Item Type: Book.


A nicely rebound collection of two works by one of the 1662 ejected Puritan ministers whose work rarely comes to market (no other original printings of any works of Venning are currently available). Venning's appendix to Paradoxes, Triumph of Assurance Over the Law, Sin, the World, Wants, and present Injoyments, is recognized as the source of the saying "Beauty is only skin deep" ("All the beauty of the world 'tis but skin-deep," p. 35).

WorldCat has two listings (OCLC #15479269 & #35259752) with a total of 14 libraries holding the 5th edition, including The University of London Senate House Library, The Huntington Library, Columbia University and Yale University. WorldCat shows two listings (OCLC #35259746 & #15479266) with a total of seven holdings for the 1652 printing of New Command.

In his book on Venning, S. Bryn Roberts calls him "an integral figure in early modern British puritanism." According to Venning's biography at The Banner of Truth site, he "ministered primarily in London, in fellowship with both Independent and Presbyterian preachers" such as John Owen and Richard Baxter. Venning, says the bio, "was unequivocally committed to the goals of the Reformation and of the ‘Puritan revolution’ . . .." He was among the signers of the "Epistle Commending the Westminster Standards" and in 1662 was ejected from his pulpit for refusing to conform to the Act of Uniformity.

The New Command Renew'd is perhaps best known for his ten principles for interpreting Scripture (pp. 34-39). However, both works here provide evidence he had a lighter side that shows up in his word play. Perhaps this is because, as Tucker Adkins notes, Venning "preached near an area of Southwark brimming with inns, taverns, theaters, and their employees" and needed to appeal to his audience. He often has clever turns of phrases, such as in The New Command Renew'd where his first principle for brotherly love is: "That we may meet to agree together, let us agree to meet together, and that's meet" (p. 9).

Orthodox Paradoxes was his first book, originally published in 1647. The New Command Renew'd was his second, originally published in 1650. He died in March 1673-4 and was buried in Bunhill Fields.

Orthodox Paradoxes (5th ed.): [6], 37, [1] p.; 14 cm.; Wing (CD-ROM, 1996) V219, McAlpin II: 799. New Command (2nd printing): [2], 50 p.; 14 cm.; Wing (2nd ed.) V214.

The text block is tight; pages are crisp. There is some darkening on the page edges from having been handled and read. There is a tide mark in the outside margin of pp. 10-26 of Orthodox Paradoxes. There are darker tide marks affecting the whole page in New Command from pp. 31-50 (darker as they get to the end of the book). They are in the outside margin for the rest of the book. The two works have been professionally rebound in marbled paper over boards with the spine in dark brown leather. The title "Orthodox Paradoxes" has been stamped in bright gilt on the spine. No foxing in this copy.

Quantity Available: 1. Shipped Weight: 0 lbs 5 oz. Category: Antiquarian & Rare; Theology, Doctrinal -- History -- Early works to 1800; Britain/UK; Renaissance 16thc to 17thc; Religion & Theology. ISBN: No ISBN. Inventory No: 1204.
PRICE: $US 295.00