CLARK, John. ~ Self-Annihilation: being the Substance of a Sermon, preached at the Funeral of Mrs. Joanna Turner, Wife of Mr. Thomas Turner, who died Dec. 24, 1784, At Trowbridge, Wilts. To which is added an Elegiac Poem, Addressed by Way of Condolence to the Surviver. By John Clark, Minister of the Gospel. Bath: Printed and sold by S. Hazard; sold also by Vallance and Conder... London; T. Mills, Wine-Street, Bristol, and W. Sleigh, Trowbridge... If any Profit should arise from the Sale hereof, it will be applied to the Use of the Sunday’s School established at Trowbridge. 1785.
8vo (231 × 150 mm), pp. 31, ; uncut and stab sewn as issued; edges slightly dusty, but otherwise very clean.
Sole edition. John Clark, minister and poet and Joanna Turner, the latter the subject of this funeral sermon and elegiac poem, were members of the same Congregationalist community at Trowbridge in Wiltshire. Both came from prosperous families of clothiers and both had been Methodists. The community began with house meetings at Joanna Turner’s house before erecting a chapel in 1771 at the expense of her and her husband, Thomas. The chapel was extended several times; John Wesley preached there in 1780; and provision for a Sunday school was made in 1785. The title page of Self-Annihilation bears the note ‘If any profit should arise from the Sale hereof, it will be applied to the Use of the Sunday’s School established at Trowbridge.
‘Self-Annihilation’ denotes not self-destruction or suicide but the act of ‘making oneself nothing’ in the eyes of God, as in St Paul’s words ‘Though I be nothing’ (2 Corinthians 12). Not in Jackson; ESTC lists 7 UK copies but only 3 in the US (Huntington, Rutgers, Yale).