Thursday, August 23, 2007


o illustrate the way times have changed in the publishing industry, I thought I'd share a title from a treatise that came hot off the presses back in 1591. Let's just say that back then, you really could judge a book by its cover.

Imagine an Elizabethan couple settling down for bed. The husband picks up a book from his bedside table and cracks it open. His better half asks, "Bartholomew, what tome readest thou now?"

He replies, "Oh, just something I picked up yesterday from the bookseller near St Paul's Cross, called A Plaine refutation of M. G. Giffordes reprochful booke, intituled a short treatise against the Donatists of England. Wherein is discovered the forgery of the whole Ministrie, the confusion, false worship, and antichristian disorder of these Parish assemblies, called the Church of England. Here also is prefixed a summe of the causes of our seperation, and of our purposes in practise, which M. Giffard hath twise sought to confute, and hath now twise received answere, by Henrie Barrowe. Here is furder annexed a briefe refutation of M. Giff. supposed consimilituda betwixt the Donatists and us. Wherein is shewed how his Arguments have bene & may be by the Papists more iustly retorted against himself & the present estate of their Church, by I. Gren. Here also are inserted a fewe observations of M. Giff. his cavils about read prayer and devised Leitourgies."


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