Pesaro: Amatina, 1767. First Edition. 4to. 2 vols. Vol 1: , I-CXXXVI, 1-307 = 449 pp. Vol 2: [I-II], III-XVI, 1-465 = 481 pp. Nineteenth century quarter-calf with marbled paper covered boards, quite worn along hinges and binding extremities, foot of spine with covered with black marker which extended onto top board of vol. I, gilt spines (darkened and worn), Some foxing to title and light foxing to outer margins of a few other pages. Vol. 2 has a large dark stain on title and first 10 pages, not affecting the legibility of the text, tear at bottom on p. 23, small chip on p. 51, small water stain on foreedge of pp. 171-8. Two bookplates on front pastedowns: one from the library of Ruben Parsons ("Dom Reuben Parsons Presb. Neo Ebor") with Parsons's signature on the front endleaf dated at Rome, 1863, the other from the library of I. G. Schorsch. Good. Item #3044
First edition of a famous refutation of Febronianism from the library of American Catholic theologian Rev. Reuben Parsons, D.D. (1841-1906), who references the present work in vol. 5 of his seven-volume "Studies in Church History" (1896-1900), calling it "the most concise and trenchant refutation of Febronius ever written." Perhaps he was perusing this very copy as he wrote these words.
Before Parsons was ordained in 1866, he was educated first at Mount St. Mary's University in Maryland and later at the Pontifical North American College in Rome where it appears he acquired these two volumes. His signature on the front endleaf bears evidence of this: "R. J. Parsons, Roma. 1863." Parsons was chaplain of St. Joseph's Hospital in Yonkers ("Neo Ebor") for thirteen years until his death.
Francesco Antonio Zaccaria (1714-1795) was an Italian Jesuit theologian and historian who also served as ducal archivist and librarian of Modena. Upon publication of his "Anti-febbronio," he was forcibly removed from the position. Afterwards he was appointed librarian of the Jesuit professed house in Rome where he received an annual pension begun by Pope Clement XIII to whom this work is dedicated. Zaccaria was incredibly prolific: Backer-Sommervogel lists not less than 161 works by him.
Febronianism was a "theory of ecclesiastical organization founded on a denial of the monarchical constitution of the Church. The ostensible purpose was to facilitate the reconciliation of the Protestant bodies with the Church by diminishing the power of the Holy See." (Catholic Encyclopedia).