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Owen, John.  An enquiry into the original, nature, institution, power, order, and communion of evangelical churches. London: Pr. by J. Richardson for Nath. Ponder, 1681. 4to (20.4 cm, 8.03"). [1 (blank)] f., [14], 72, 170, 177–365, [3 (blank)] pp.

First edition: Cromwell's chaplain presents his views on church government and his doctrinal issues with the Church of England. Edward Stillingfleet's sermon on "The Mischief of Separation" had earlier prompted this prominent Puritan theologican to respond with his Brief Vindication, to which Stillingfleet in turn replied with The Unreasonableness of Separation — the present item serving as Owen's final word on the subject. While the title-page claims that this is the first part, no more was published per both WorldCat and ESTC; ESTC also notes that the text is continuous despite the gap in pagination.
        Provenance: Reverse of final text page with inked inscription reading "William Barker His Book : 1707 October ye 20 day bought at the [lined through]"; back flyleaf with inked, much-flourished inscription: "Gulielmus Barker [/] Anno 1719."

Wing (rev. ed.) O764; ESTC R4153. Contemporary speckled calf, rebacked with similar speckled calf, original leather with moderate scuffing to sides and edges; covers framed in gilt roll, spine with gilt-stamped burgundy leather title-label and gilt-ruled raised bands. Pages with varying degrees of age-toning and spotting, and with scattered ink stains and smudges, yet paper very good and untattered; one leaf with short tear from lower margin, not touching text. => A now-solid copy, preserving much of the original binding, of an item not commonly seen on the market, with pleasing manuscript assertions of provenance.  (41406)   Please RESHELVE This.

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