London: 1755-1767. Bound in attractive contemporary or early 19th century half morocco, marbled boards, marbled endpapers, and raised spine bands. 'Sermons' stamped in gilt on spine. Bookplate of Paul Beilby Thompson [1784-1852], the first Baron Wenlock, an English Whig and Member of Parliament during the late 1820's and the 1830's. Pages 80; 77, ; 99, ; 88; 91; 119, ; 68, ; 98,  pp [each, as issued]. A lovely set, in Near Fine condition [tear to one blank margin on the 1767 Sermon, and spotting on a couple of its leaves].
The Preachers, listed chronologically, are Thomas Hayter , James Johnson , Anthony Ellis , Richard Newcome , John Hume , Philip Yonge , William Warburton , John Ewer . In addition to their Sermons, the pamphlets print the Society's Charter, its Proceedings over the preceding year, names of members and donors; the names of the Society's missionaries in Canada, the American Colonies, and the West Indies, with their narrative reports on their work, including conversions of Indians and Negroes; and a list of the Bishops and Deans who have preached before the Society beginning in 1701. The form of a bequest to the Society is usually printed at the end.
The Society's efforts in the American colonies aroused great resentment among some leading American clergy, particularly Charles Chauncy and Jonathan Mayhew, who viewed its activities as attempts to establish the Church of England in the New World and to destroy the democratic organization of American churches. Their resistance during the 1760's paralleled political developments which would produce the American Revolution.
Certainly the Sermons reflect the high-water mark of British self-assurance. Bishop Hume describes "the real state of the multitudes-- a set of thoughtless, illiterate, untutoured, creatures." Warburton's 1766 Sermon, "a statement of British manifest destiny..." [Gephart], dismisses objections of non-Episcopalians to the Society's mission: Americans suffer from the "outrageous folly" of "Freethinking." They are "a People, where wealth and Civil Faction, have, as usual, inflamed religious zeal." And the Society of Jesus has "immerged themselves in the worst part of civil intrigues." At the same time, he and his colleagues unequivocally denounce "the infamous traffic for Slaves," which "directly infringes both divine and human Law." They are "endowed with all our Faculties, possessing all our qualities but that of colour; our BRETHREN both by Nature and Grace."
HAYTER: ESTC T47758. JOHNSON: Goldsmiths' 9409. Sabin 36223. ELLIS: ESTC T14001.. NEWCOME: Sabin 54938. ESTC N23710. HUME: ESTC N37286. Goldsmiths' 9804. YONGE: Adams, American Controversy 65-28. WARBURTON: Adams, American Controversy 66-61. Sabin 101276. Blockson 8984. Gephart 10084. EWER: Adams, American Controversy 67-5. Item #29803