Spinozistic work published by Aart Wolsgrein in 1693,  banned in 1708

Spinozistic work published by Aart Wolsgrein in 1693, banned in 1708

Berend Hakvoord. De schole van Christus, behelzende zes en zestig lessen [...] In dezen derden druk, van den auteur zelfs vermeerderd [...].


Amsterdam, Aart Wolsgrein, 1693. 8vo. [12], 440, [20] pp. With engraved frontispiece (dated 1692).


Contemporary vellum. Bookplate (designed by Anton Pieck) on pastedown. Frontispiece with a few stains, a few dog ears. In very good condition.


A Spinozistic work with the outward shape of a reformed catechism, officially banned by the States of Overijssel in 1708.


Hakvoord was a Zwolle cantor, cathechist, publisher and author, who, in 1703, published Van Leenhof's scandalous Den hemel op aarden, a treatise on earthly happiness strongly influenced by Spinoza that was banned by the States of Friesland and Overijssel in 1706.


The first edition of De schole van Christus was probably published between 1685 and 1689. The present third edition appeared by Aart Wolsgrein, known for publishing heretical works. It was enlarged with several passages that were almost literally quoted from Spinoza's outlawed work, including Spinoza's definitions of 'free' and 'dependent' (Ethics, part 1, definition 7):


“And I call free which necessarily exists by its own nature, and is determined to act solely by itself; but I call forced or unfree which is determined to be or to act in a certain way by something else.

From this it necessarily follows that our will is not free but infinitely determined, since God is the cause of its essence and existence and determines it to act or will in this or that manner. Because all there is, is in God; it is governed by Him and cannot be conceived without Him (Acts 17:28, Rom. 11: 36)”


Several other editions would appear before the authorities noticed Hakvoord's spinozism and took action against him: it was only in 1708 that his catechism was officially banned.


This copy comes from the library of Fritz Michael Meyer (1902-1991), a German-born Jewish industrialist and book collector. According to the International Institute of Social History he was one of the founders of boxing club Makkabi, established to give Jews the means to defend themselves against antisemitic attacks.


After the Nazis' rise to power Meyer fled to Amstelveen and founded a knitwear factory in Amsterdam. During the war his factory was liquidated by the Nazis and Meyer was forced to go into hiding. After the war Meyer, together with his wife Meta Daniel, rebuilt his business and amassed an impressive library.


De Joode, 'Duister en met rede verdacht', no. 3 (4 copies, including this copy); STCN (1 copy, also listed by De Joode); cf. Israel, Radical Enlightenment, pp. Wielema, The March of the Libertines, pp. 92-94; for Meyer: IISH.

    € 400,00Prijs