TERRY, John The Triall of Truth: Containing and Plaine and short discovery of the chiefest pointes of the Doctrine of the great Antichrist… Oxford: Printed by Joseph Barnes, and to be sold in Paules Church-yard at the signe of the Bible, Ann. Dom. 1600.
4to., mid 20th century tan calf, ruled and embossed with title and flaming torch motif to upper cover; title repeated in gilt to spine and lower board; marbled end papers; all edges red; with numerous woodcut head and tailpieces, as well as initials, with later hand-colouring (occasional bleed-through); pp. [xxiv], 160; binding a little scratched and marked to covers; creasing along spine which is also rather rubbed, especially to head; a little loose in the binding, the front few pages particularly so, but holding; closely shaved at head; marbled papers to rear with some patches of rubbing to gutter where pages have stuck; the text itself remarkably bright, with previous ownership name to title, and occasional red pen marks and damp spots to gutter (not affecting text); along with some early pen marks, and underlining, as well as some interesting ink symbols to margins; the occasional chip to page edge, particularly 127-132; p. 50-51 with slight loss to corner, again not affecting text; final page with some damp-staining and chipping to edges, this time with slight portion of loss to headline. Provenance: Bookplates of Arthur and Gilbert to front paste-down, and photocopied device of Joseph Barnes to ffep; stamps to Comdr A. A. Gilbert to front and rear endpapers; along with a few pages of notes and newspaper cuttings bound in at front.
Essentially, an exposition on how to better oneself through the Protestant Christianity, written here in the Vernacular, as "the people for the most part cannot read the holy scriptures". Terry expounds the teachings of the apostles and prophets "so that they [the people] can be brought to the knowledge of the truth". He finally tackles the subject of the title, the question of "the most venemous doctrine of [the] antichrist" which "is delivered in a cuppe of gold". He warns against false prophets, and teaches that it is not enough to blindly follow teachers, but that they it is truly important understand their faith. For, "the powerfull trueth of the gospell breaketh all of the familiar use with the Devill, and stoppeth the course of his Satanical illusions, which have great foorth in his kingdome of darknesse, hee being very familiar with his familiars", and "the faithfull have their fierce and furious affections cooled… by the Lords most meeke spirit and milde word, and of tygers, beares, & wolves are turned into doves, lambes, and sheepe:…the unfaithfull delight in cruelty and blood."
A genuinely rare treatise. We can trace only one copy at auction in the last 70 years.