The Testimony of Late Seventeenth-Century Library Auction
In this article on book circulation, I survey twelve English library auction
catalogues from the period 1676–97, in order to show how interest in the
writings of the Amsterdam rabbi Menasseh ben Israel (1604–57) continued
after his death. I do this by identifying the circulation of his works in
Puritan personal libraries. I focus particularly on the library auction
catalogues of leading Puritans, notably Lazarus Seaman, Thomas Manton, Stephen
Charnock and John Owen. I also show that of all Menasseh’s books,
De resurrectione mortuorum libri III was the one most
frequently owned by Puritan divines. This article demonstrates how books helped
to catalyse the boundary-crossing nature of the Jewish–Christian
encounter in seventeenth-century England.
Toleration, Supersessionism and Judaeo-Centric Eschatology
This article on an early modern pamphlet which can be found in the John Rylands Library Special Collections asserts the importance of John Goodwin’s analysis of Zechariah 13:3 in A Post-Script or Appendix to […] Hagiomastix (1647). I argue that this pamphlet’s significance is not only its emphasis on toleration, but also that it is a striking example of Judaeo-centric millenarian thought in which Zechariah 12–14 is understood as prophesying a future time in which the Jews will be restored to the Land of Israel. I also analyse the pamphlet’s relationship to supersessionism and compare Goodwin’s interpretation with those of Samuel Rutherford, William Prynne, John Owen and, in particular, Jean Calvin. I explain that Goodwin’s use of the analogy of Scripture hermeneutic helps to explain his belief in Judaeo-centric eschatology. I then show how one of Goodwin’s followers, Daniel Taylor, used Judaeo-centric biblical exegesis to petition Oliver Cromwell for Jewish readmission to England.