Archive

Posts Tagged ‘eighteenth-century’

Fire and Brimstone

The discovery of a most enormous evil

The discovery of a most enormous evil (Edinburgh, 1752) W.c.1/7

Five years in to the Funk Cataloguing Projects here at New College Library, early Pamphlets are continuing to be catalogued. We’re still finding unique items which are being sent for digital photography over at the University of Edinburgh Main Library. Great blog post on these by Susan Petigrew in the Digital Imaging Unit – see http://libraryblogs.is.ed.ac.uk/diu/2013/09/25/fire-and-brimstone/

From slave trader to ‘Amazing Grace’ – John Newton

[Newton, John] / An authentic narrative of some remarkable and interesting particularas in the life of ********* ... London, 1786.

[Newton, John] / An authentic narrative of some remarkable and interesting particularas in the life of ********* … London, 1786. New College Library Z.1188

Today marks the anniversary of the birth of John Newton, Anglican clergyman and hymn writer. This volume from New College Library’s Special Collections tells his remarkable story. The Authentic narrative of some remarkable and interesting particulars in the life of Mr. Newton describes Newton’s early career as a seaman on a slave trading ship. He experienced  a profound religious conversion, which when he finally took up life on shore led him to become active in evangelical revival. He pursued private studies in Divinity and taught himself Greek, Hebrew and Syriac.

In 1764, the year he was ordained as an Anglican priest, his Authentic Narrative appeared and quickly became a bestseller. Newton’s early life as a seaman slave trader coloured his experiences in later life, when he wrote and campaigned against slavery and is known to have met and advised William Wilberforce. He was a prominent hymn writer, and his legacy lives on today in the well known hymn ‘Amazing Grace’ .

New College Library has this sixth edition, at Z.1188, published in 1786, but it went through ten British and eight American editions before the end of the century. It was quickly translated into several other languages – New College Library also holds a Gaelic edition at Gaelic Coll. 137.

Sources

D. Bruce Hindmarsh, ‘Newton, John (1725–1807)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2010 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/20062, accessed 18 July 2013]

The Case of Mr. Ebenezer Erskine, founder of the Secession church in Scotland

The Case of Mr Ebenezer Erskine B.a.b.1912

The Case of Mr Ebenezer Erskine
B.a.b.1912

Ebenezer Erskine (1680–1754), a founder of the Secession church, died in Stirling on 2 June 1754. A celebrated preacher,  his opposition to patronage, when a local landowner could choose the  parish minister without the approval of the people of the parish, set him against the established Church of Scotland.  In 1733 Erskine joined other Scottish ministers to form the Associate Presbytery, remaining in active ministry in Stirling. By 1742 the number of seceder congregations in Scotland had grown to twenty.

New College Library holds this pamphlet from 1733, recently catalogued online as part of the Funk Cataloguing Projects, which is typical of Erskine’s sermons published during the controversial times of the early 1730s.  New College Library also holds Erskine’s manuscript notebooks in the archives.

Sources

Science and religion : a natural history #ILW2013

Natural History CollectionInnovative Learning week kicks off at New College Library with a chance to see some of the scientific books in New College Library’s Special Collections and find out where they came from and why they were collected at New College Library. Please drop in to look at the book display in the Funk Reading Room, Monday 18 February 11-12am and ask questions.

Several of the items in this display are drawn from New College Library’s Natural History Collection, a Special Collection numbering about 175 books. This dates from the early days of New College, where ‘Natural Science’ was taught until 1934. The collection covers the mid-nineteenth century controversies over evolution and natural selection, with geology particularly well represented. There is a focus on Scottish natural history and on texts by Scots writers.

Can’t come to the display? See the presentation slides on slideshare.

To fast or feast? Celebrating Christmas in the eighteenth century

December 11, 2012 1 comment
A discourse concerning the lawfulness and right manner of keeping Christmas and other Christian holy-days, by way of question and answer : intended for the use of a charity-school. London: Printed for, and sold by H. Hills, in Black-fryars, near the Water-side, 1708 New College Library Z.851/3

A discourse concerning the lawfulness and right manner of keeping Christmas and other Christian holy-days, by way of question and answer : intended for the use of a charity-school. London: Printed for, and sold by H. Hills, in Black-fryars, near the Water-side, 1708 New College Library Z.851/3

Many folk will be going to Christmas lunches and parties this week – including New College Library staff. Outside our office window the Edinburgh Christmas fair is in full (and noisy) swing, celebrating the season.

This eighteenth century pamphlet,  A discourse concerning the lawfulness and right manner of keeping Christmas,  gives an eighteenth century view on seasonal celebrations.  It takes the form of a dialogue between a master and scholar, prefacing the discussion with the quotation of Bible texts that urge sincere and temperate behaviour. It unpicks the theology of Christmas from an early eighteenth century Anglican point of view,  negotiating the scriptural and historical justifications of the observance of Christmas as a holy day and the contemporary differences in practice with other Protestant Churches. The author looks back on the abolishment of Christmas celebrations (including plum pudding) under Oliver Cromwell’s Puritan regime after the English Civil War. It is possible both this period and the Restoration of 1660 may have been within the author’s living memory.

This book is also available online to University of Edinburgh users via Eighteenth Century Collections Online, where it can be read online in full.

This item is from New College Library’s Z Collection, currently being catalogued as part of the Funk Cataloguing Projects at New College Library.

Festival Prayers for Hanukkah

Shaar Bat Rabim Mahzor Helek Rishon : ke-minhag kahal kadosh Ashkenazim. Ṿinitsiʾah : Stamperia Bragadina, 1716-[1731/32. New College Library Dal-Chr 9(1)

Shaar Bat Rabim Mahzor Helek Rishon : ke-minhag kahal kadosh Ashkenazim. Ṿinitsiʾah : Stamperia Bragadina, 1716-[1731/32. New College Library Dal-Chr 9(1)

The Mahzor Ashkenazim  is an example of a mahzor, or festival prayer book, for Ashkenazi usage, published in Venice in the early eighteenth century. Its large size makes it likely that it was intended for synagogue use rather than personal prayer. The Encyclopedia Judaica (available online to University of Edinburgh users) notes that mahzorim, which originally developed  in medieval south western Germany, started to appear in the Ashkenazi communities of  northern Italy in the fifteenth century.

This item is part of the Dalman-Christie Collection,  catalogued as one of the Funk Cataloguing Projects at New College Library. The Dalman-Christie Collection was transferred to New College Library in 1946 from the Church of Scotland Hospice in Jerusalem. With thanks to our Hebrew Cataloguer, Janice Gailani, for helping to identify this item.

This opening shows festival prayers for Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights.

This opening shows festival prayers for Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights.

Psalms for St Cecilia’s Day

Moore, Thomas “Psalm singers’ pocket companion”, Glasgow 1756. Hymn 264/1

The feast of St Cecilia’s Day is traditionally celebrated on November 22nd.  A 3rd century martyr, St Cecilia is known as the patron saint of musicians. Her legend relates that, as a young Christian,  she was betrothed to a pagan but she had already vowed her virginity to God. As the organs played at at her wedding feast, Cecilia sang (in her heart) to the Lord, asking that her heart remain pure.

Here’s a book of Psalms to remember her by. Thomas Moore’s Psalm singers’ pocket companion is a publication from the revival era known as Gallery Psalmody, where leading singers and choir were located in a loft of the church. The new style lasted for about a century from 1755, and its main features were choirs singing in harmony of usually three parts, with some solo sections. Thomas Moore (- d. 1792) was a music teacher from Manchester Cathedral who came to Glasgow to teach singing.

This item is small, or pocket sized, and contains a number of manuscript doodles which may testify to the singer’s mind wandering elsewhere. Also interesting are the pages of handwritten music staves, perhaps to allow the singer to make notes of new tunes or harmonies.

The Psalm singers’ pocket companion belongs to the Hymnology Collection, and was catalogued as part of the Funk Cataloguing Projects. With thanks to our Project Cataloguer, Oreste de Tommaso, for supplying details of this item.