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NYE, Stephen (1648?–1719)

A discourse concerning natural and revealed religion . Evidencing the truth, and certainty of both; by considerations (for the most part) not yet touched by any. Recommended to the consideration of atheists, deists, and scepticks; and useful to confirm and nourish the faith and piety of others. By Stephen Nye

London: printed by T[homas]. W[arren]. for Jonathan Robinson, at the Golden-Lyon in St. Paul’s Church-Yard, 1696
8vo: A4 B–P8 Q6, 122 leaves, pp. [8] 235 [1].
Condition: 186 x 115mm. Printing flaw in K2 with loss of a few letters; worm tracks in lower blank margins towards the end (restored with Japanese tissue).
Binding: Contemporary blind panelled calf, pastedowns are waste leaves from The seconde part of the secretes of Master Alexis of Piedmont, 1560, leaves X4 and Y1 (my thanks to Steve Tabor for this identification), double free endleaves. Rebacked with the
Some copies have a different state of the titlepage largely printed from the same setting but with ‘(Pursuant to the design of Mr. Boyl’s lecture)’ after ‘Recommended’ and the author’s name as ‘S.N.’ Another edition was printed in 1752.
Bibliography: Wing N1506; ESTC R15427.

A work on natural religion which seems to have been little studied by modern historians and is not noticed in H. J. McLachan’s ODNB article on Nye. In another state of the titlepage ‘(Pursuant to the design of Mr. Boyl’s lecture)’ is added, refering to the series of lecture sermons provided for in Boyle’s will, the first of which was given by Richard Bentley in 1692. The sermon for 1696 was John Williams, The perfection of evangelical revelation. Nye is chiefly remembered as a Unitarian, as was Newton (though privately) and several of his followers. Nye was the first to use the term Unitarian in his Brief history of the Unitarians, called also Socinians (1687).
ESTC records 14 UK copies of this edition; 2 in Europe and 7 in North America, at Boston Public Library, Folger, Library Company of Philadelphia, Starr King School for the Ministry, Clark, Illinois and Yale. There is also a copy at Princeton. The other edition, ESTC R235127, is much rarer (St. John’s College Cambridge, Jesus College Oxford; Library Company of Philadelphia, Clark Library).
Keywords:     science and religion