2 DUNCAN, Martin / Against Anabaptism / Virtual Book Fair 106


Description: Against Anabaptism: original edition of a apologitic work by one of the most prolific Dutch writers of the Counter Reformation

DUNCAN, Martin.
Anabaptisticae haereseos confutatio, et vere Christiani baptismi, ac potissimum paedobaptismatis assertio in duos libros divisa, quorum prior veram Christiani baptismi energiam declarat, posterior paedobaptismatis Christianam institutionem ex sacris literis demonstrat, contra Mennonis Simonis Frisii anabaptisticae pravitatis summi antistitis verulentas blasphemias.
Second part with separate title: Liber posterior de paedobaptismate seu parvulorum baptismo, contra Menonis Simonis Frisii anabaptisticae pravitatis summi antistitis verulentas blasphemias.

Antwerp, Johannes Gravius, 1549. 2 parts in one vol. 8vo. Original boards covered with marbled paper. With printer's device on the title of the second part, many interesting woodcut initials. (16, including last blank), 227 lvs.

First and only edition of this important apologitical work by the Catholic priest Martinus Duncanus (Maarten Donk; Kempen ca. 1505- Amersfoort 1593). He lived in the focus of the Anabaptist movement in Waterland, The Netherlands, in 1535. At least 57 persons in his village were persecuted, of whom 32 had taken part in the procession to Münster. After his studies in Louvain he became priest in 1536. In 1541 he was appointed priest in Wormer (North Holland) where he founded a Latin school and where he was active in defending the Catholic faith against rising protestantism and especially anabaptism among his parishioners. In 1550 Charles V appointed him as one of the book censors in the Netherlands. From 1558-1572 he was priest of St. Hippolytus in Delft; from 1572 till the 'Satisfaction' in 1578 he was the priest of the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam.
Duncanus was one of the first Catholic opponents of Menno Simons. The present book was directed against Simons, the 'leader' of the anabaptists. He presented the work to the city of Amsterdam and received as a gift from the mayors the sum of 12 Caroli half-a-crowns. It was the first of Duncanus' apologitic writings and one of the most violent books ever published against the Dutch Anabaptists.
The Anabaptists did not see themselves as theologians, certainly not as formal theological apologists and did often engage in polemics and in apologetic discourse. Anabaptists did not try to explicate a rationally coherent body of propositional truths. They sought rather to understand and proclaim God's work in the world; to proclaim the way of salvation as they understood it and to live as disciples of Jesus Christ. They tried in all simplicity to give a reason for their faith (1 Pet 3:15). The Anabaptists had to defend themselves against other common accusations and misrepresentations: that they were revolutionaries, like the Münster Anabaptists; that they practiced polygamy, held things in common, were too severe in church discipline; that they were schismatic; and that they were legalists. These and other accusations were dealt with in Menno Simons' Reply to False Accusations (1552, Writings, 541-78) occuring also in Duncan's present book.

- Michael de Bay ab Arl (?); on the first fly-leaf: 'Bibliotaca Baij'.
- J.F. van de Velde, 1786 with a note on Duncan on the verso of the first fly-leaf.
- Nineteenth-century bookplate of Antiquarian bookseller Frederik Muller, Amsterdam.
- Howard Osgood (1831-1911), from Rochester Theological Seminar (see: 'The Late Professor Howard Osgood', in: The Biblical World, 39, 2 (1912), pp. 74, 137-9): Osgood wrote his name on the first title and his coat-of-arms is pasted to the back of the front cover. He is the author of a rather famous book on the same subject: Protestant Pedobaptism and the doctrine of the Church (1880).

Good copy.- (Spine lacking, some quires half loose).
Belgica Typographica 987; Buyck, M 16.0; Hillerbrand 3654; F. Rütten, Martin Donk (Martinus Duncanus) 1505-1590 : biographischer Beitrag zur Nederländischen Kirchengeschichte (Münster 1906); P. Noordeloos, Collatie Pastoor Maarten Donk (Utrecht 1948); A biography and bibliogr.: Hans Simons, 'Martin Donk van Kempen', in: Heimatbuch 1972 des Kreises Kempen-Krefeld, p. 231-6; The Mennonite encyclopedia II, pp.108-109; NNBW III, cols. 309-12.
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