Julian the Apostate: being a short account of his life; the sense of the primitive Christians about his succession; and their behaviour towards him. Together with a comparison of Popery and Paganism. London, Langley Curtis, 1682.
First Edition. 8vo (165 x 100 mm), pp. [xxix], , 172, slight browning, ink burn affecting two words on A3, lower outer blank corner of a3 torn, occasional marginal spotting, rebound in black modern buckram, spine lettered in gilt, contemporary ownership inscription of Rob Walsh on the title-page.
The first edition of this important treatise in the development of the so-called Whig Resistance theory, eventually supporting the Glorious Revolution, at the time of the Exclusion Crisis in the early 1680s. Samuel Johnson, ‘the Whig’, was a clergyman who was later expelled from the Church of England and is chiefly remembered now as a major political pamphleteer. Julian the Apostate was a reply to George Hickes’s A Discourse of the Sovereign Power (1682). It was an attack against the Jacobites, particularly against the succession of James, Duke of York, later James II, and the leaders of English Catholicism. A new Emperor Julian, who rejected Christianity to promote Hellenism in the 4th century AD, Johnson likens the Duke of York’s Catholicism to a latter day form of paganism.