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The Works of Thomas Traherne IV

The Works of Thomas Traherne IV: Church's Year-Book, A Serious and athetical Contemplation of the Mercies of GOD, (Meditations on the Six Days of the Creation)

Edited by Jan Ross
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 578
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  • Book Info
    The Works of Thomas Traherne IV
    Book Description:

    Thomas Traherne (1637-1674), a clergyman of the Church of England during the Restoration, was little known until the early twentieth century, when his poetry and Centuries of Meditations were first printed. There have been since only miscellaneous publications of his poetry and devotional writings fully edited, a gap which The Works of Thomas Traherne will remedy by bringing together Traherne's extant works, including his notebooks, in a definitive, printed edition for the first time. Volume IV makes available a single manuscript book held at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, never before published, the Church's Year-Book, Meditations and Devotions from the Resurrection to All Saints' Day, a work of celebration for the establishment and subsequent expansion of the universal Church and for the re-established Church of England. Also included is the anonymous devotional book that served as the key to the initial identification of Traherne's manuscripts, A Serious and Pathetical Contemplation of the Mercies of GOD, in Several Most Devout and Sublime Thanksgivings for the Same, first printed in 1699 and commonly referred to as the 'Thanksgivings'. Both are works of universal appeal, learning and insight that show Traherne to be engaged in the central issues of his age and are essential reading for students not only of Traherne but also of seventeenth-century theological, liturgical and devotional literature. Printed in the Appendix is Meditations on the Six Days of the Creation, a work of questionable attribution to Traherne, as well as William T. Brooke's account of the discovery of Traherne's manuscripts, 'The Story of the Traherne MSS. By their finder', held at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and published for the first time.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-777-6
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. List of Plates
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. General Preface
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. Abbreviations
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  7. Introduction
    (pp. xvii-liv)

    This volume contains two works by Thomas Traherne and one of dubious attribution. of the two works clearly Traherne’s,A Serious and Pathetical Contemplation of the Mercies of GODis the better known. First published in 1699, it went through various publications during the twentieth century, both in part and in its entirety.¹ It is popularly referred to by the abbreviated title ‘Thanksgivings’, assigned by Bertram Dobell² in the Introduction to his 1903 edition of Traherne’s poems.³

    TheChurch’s Year-Book⁴ has remained unpublished as an untitled manuscript book since its discovery at the beginning of the twentieth century, and this...

  8. Church’s Year-Book, Meditations and Devotions from the Resurrection to All Saints’ Day
    (pp. 1-312)

    Rais thy Thoughts, O my Soul, abov all that is Mortal, and imagine with thy Self the Ineffable Joy of our Lord Jesus, yea of Angels and Men, at this thy Saviors Resurrection. Behold His Church, that was to take Production from His Blood, Life from His Death, Health from His Wounds, and now Establishment, as well as Growth from His Resurrection, rejoycing in it.

    Consider how He is the Prophet to instruct, the Priest to offer Sacrifice, yea to be Himself the Sacrifice for it; the Almighty King and Universal Monarch to Govern and Protect it. And then tell...

  9. A Serious and Pathetical Contemplation of the Mercies of God, in Several Most Devout and Sublime Thanksgivings for the same.
    (pp. 313-434)

    When I desired you to Print these excellent Papers, I told you they were recommended to me by a devout Person, who was a great Judge of Books of Devotion, having given the World one already, which had been well received in three Impressions, and would in time furnish’d it with more. And when I promis’d you to write aPrefacebefore them, I knew not of any other Person that designed to do it, but sinceIhave received one from the hand of a worthy Gentleman of the Authors acquaintance, who had a desire to pay his respects...

  10. Appendix

    • Meditations on the Six Days of the Creation
      (pp. 437-500)

      In the Beginning God created the Heavens, and the Earth; and the Earth was void and without Form, and Darkness covered the Face of the Waters. Gen.1.1.2.

      Thou, O eternal Father, didst in the Beginning of Time, by thine eternal Son, through the Operation of thine eternal Spirit, who moved upon the Face of the Waters, give Beginning to all Things.

      Thou hast measured the Waters in the Hollow of thine Hand, thou hast meted out the Heavens with a Span, thou hast comprehended the Dust of the Earth in a Measure, and weighed the Mountains in Scales, and...

    • The Preface to A Collection of Meditations and devotions, published by Nathaniel Spinckes (London, 1717).
      (pp. 501-510)

      Though I am not desirous to detain the Reader with any long Preamble, concerning the following Meditations and Devotions, I cannot but think it necessary however to present him with some short account, both of the Author of these religious and truly Christian Remains, and of the work it self.

      The Author of them was Mrs.Susanna Hopton, a Person of Quality, estate, and figure in her Countrey ; the ingeniously inquisitive, and truly Devout and Pious Relict ofRichard Hopton, Esq ; who had been one of theWelshJudges in the reigns of kingCharlesII. and king...

    • From George Hickes, A Second Collection of Controversial Letters Relating to the Church of England, and the Church of Rome, As they passed between an Honourable Lady, and Dr. George Hickes. (London, 1710).
      (pp. 511-512)

      [From pp. x—xii:] I have already spoken of her¹ Diligence in reading Books relating to thePopish Controversie, and her making Collections out of them. And I beg leave of the Reader farther to acquaint him, that she was not less studious in reading Books of Devotion, and gathering the choicest Flowers out of them. That excellent Book of Devotion without her Name, Entituled,Daily Devotions, consisting of Thanksgivings, & c. By an humble Penitent, was her collection, and Composition, of which she communicated some few Copies in MS. by which means, as I suppose, it came to be...

    • Brooke’s account of the discovery of Thomas Traherne’s manuscripts
      (pp. 513-516)

      The announcement in the columns of our contemporary the “Athenæum” of the approaching publication of a fresh manuscript of the lately discovered poet, Thomas Trahern, recalls the curious story which so respectable an authority as the “Quarterly review” regarded as “one of the most romantic in the annals of english bibliography.”

      As the writer of this article was the original discoverer, and many of the details have not yet appeared in print, the following may be of more than passing interest.

      It has been my fortune during half a century’s study of English poetry, sacred and secular, to make many...

    • Church’s Year-Book: Manuscript foliation
      (pp. 517-518)
  11. Glossary
    (pp. 519-524)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 525-525)