[ca. 1810?] · London
Run apace, and hold out to the end": Bunyan's instructions on how to run the race of life in such a way as to gain the kingdom of heaven. Originally printed in 1698, the work appears here in a lightly abridged version as no. XII of the first volume of the "Cottage Library of Christian Knowledge" series, with the title-page bearing => a woodcut vignette of two running men. This ephemeral religious tract was intended for public distribution (aimed perhaps at young men, as other entries in the series are aimed at Jews, Catholics, blacks, gamblers, and fallen women?) and it is now uncommon: A search of WorldCat finds => only one U.S. institution reporting holding this edition (University of Kentucky), with just three additional overseas locations.
Provenance: Front pastedown with bookplate of Charles G. Balmanno, president of the Mechanics Bank of Brooklyn and director of several other banks, and a famed collector who helped appraise the J.P. Morgan collection. Later in the library of American collector Albert A. Howard, small booklabel ("AHA") at rear. Later half red morocco and marbled paper–covered sides, spine with gilt-stamped title; front joint and extremities rubbed. Bookplate as above. Page edges slightly ragged; first and last pages dust-soiled. => A Bunyan treasure, with binding and provenance that show it as having been treasured. (Inventory #: 40700)