The Principles of Moral Philosophy Investigated, and Briefly Applied to the Constitution of Civil Society: together with Remarks on the Principle Assumed by Mr. Paley as the Basis of all Moral Conclusions, and on other Positions of the Same Author

T. Bensley, 1789. Hardcover. Used - Very Good. Item #20091016199746

Thomas Gisborne was born on 31 October 1758, the first child of John and Ann Gisborne. His father was a private gentleman of Derby. Thomas was educated for six years under Rev John Pickering and then attended Harrow in 1773. At the age of 18, he entered St John's College, Cambridge, graduating with a B.A. in 1780 as sixth wrangler and first chancellor's medallist. He received his M.A. in 1783. Gisborne had the opportunity to pursue a political career but instead chose to become a clergyman in the Church of England. After taking orders in 1782, he became the perpetual curate of Barton-under-Needwood in 1783. He married Mary in 1784 and they had six (or seven) sons and two daughters. His fourth son, James, replaced him as curate of Barton-under-Needwood in 1820. Gisborne was appointed as the fifth prebend in Durham in 1823, which three years later was changed to first prebend. Gisborne was highly respected in his own lifetime. Not only did he excel as a preacher but he was also recognised as a writer, poet, moralist, natural philosopher and divine-considered 'one of the greatest geniuses of the age.' He was no doubt influenced in his writings by his intimate friendships with a number of prominent evangelicals, such as William Wilberforce, the leading force in the abolition of slavery in the UK, whom Gisborne met while at college. Gisborne wrote thirteen books, many of which went through several editions (two were translated into Welsh and German). They had a wide circulation in their day and were said to have 'exercised a beneficial influence on the upper and middle classes of society.' They covered such topics as moral philosophy; the abolition of slavery; the duties of men in the middle and higher classes; the duties of women; poetry; theology (including two books of sermons); and ecclesiology. Two of his books related to science: Testimony of Natural Theology to Christianity (1818) and Considerations on Modern Theories of Geology (1837). [Dictionary of National Biography]. 8vo, xii + 182pp. Newly rebound in green cloth with paper label on spine, untrimmed, wide margins.


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