Lot 94: 1745 Rare Original BENJAMIN FRANKLIN Printed Historic Religious Imprint

Early American

December 10, 2016
Rancho Santa Fe, CA, US

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Description: Colonial America
Original 1745 Benjamin Franklin Historic Religious Imprint
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Printer Imprint. 1745-Dated, "The Confession of Faith...," PHILADELPHIA: Pinted and Sold by B. FRANKLIN, M.DCC.XLV." Very Fine.
This is one of eight major separate imprints by Benjamin Franklin, disbound, that together had comprised the composite book entitled, "Westminster Confession of Faith, the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, with the Scripture Proofs at Large. Together with the Sum of Saving Knowledge (Contained in the Holy Scriptures, and held forth in the said Confession and Catechisms) and Practical Use thereof; Covenants National and Solemn League, Acknowledgment of Sins and Engagements to Duties, Directories, Form of Church Government, &c. of Public-Authority in the CHURCH of SCOTLAND, With - Acts of Assembly and Parliament, relative to, and approbative of the same. - PHILADELPHIA: Printed and Sold by B. FRANKLIN. 1745 (Roman numerals.)"

This imprint's pages measure about 6.75" x 4.25" (Octavo). The original complete volume contained 567 pages, with an additional 24 unnumbered pages that are comprising "A Table of the Chief Matters Contained in the Confession of Faith and Larger Catechisms." This specific portion being one of the major sections entitled, "The Confession of Faith, The Larger and Shorter Catechisms, with the Scripture Proofs at Large." Printed by Benjamin Franklin, 12 pages, plus its full titles page with his imprinted name, PHILADELPHIA: Printed and Sold by B. FRANKLIN. 1745 at bottom for this section. Title page detached yet very well printed upon period laid paper which remains very clean and easily readable. Section pages 9 to 20 with sewn spine as usual and as made, light wear from use overall and in very collectible quality. Rare.
Benjamin Franklin was commissioned by the Philadelphia Synod to print this edition of the Westminster Confession of Faith. The "Synod of the Trinity," was founded as the Synod of Philadelphia in 1717.

After the Presbytery of New Brunswick was expelled from the Synod in 1741 during a major division in the Church. Jonathan Dickinson left the Synod in 1745 to form the Synod of New York. An advocate of the Great Awakening, Dickinson founded a seminary that later became Princeton University.

The first American publication of the Confession, with the larger catechism and brief summary of Christian Doctrine added, was done in Boston by S. Kneeland for D. Henchman in 1723, from Rothwell's London edition of 1658. [Benjamin Franklin, as printer] used as his copy text, the Thomas Lumisden of John Robertson edition of Edinburgh, 1728, which with its completed 'canon' and accurate texts based on William Dunlop's edition of 1719 which represented the norm of Scottish editions. (Miller). See: Miller, Benjamin Franklin's Philadelphia Printing, page 371. Sabin, 15445.
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