[ZENGER, Peter, printer]. VAN DRIESSEN, Petrus. De aanbiddelyke wegen gods in zyne souveraine bestieringe, besonder over de machten deser weereld, verklaart en toegepast in drie predicatien door Petrus Van Driessen, V.D.M. Te Nieuw-Albania: New York: J. Pieter Zenger, 1726.
Small 4o (196 x 152 mm). Title-page printed in red and black, errata leaf at end. (Errata leaf with loss in lower margin renewed.) Modern blue morocco, spine gilt, turn-ins gilt, edges gilt, by Francis Bedford (hinges lightly rubbed).
Provenance: George Brinley: booklabel -- [Sotheby Parke Bernet, 29 January 1974 (to Lathrop Harper)]
FIRST EDITION. A very early imprint from the colonial American printer and publisher John Peter Zenger (1697-1746). The German-born Zenger, after arriving in New York, was one of a number of immigrant children apprenticed to the successful New York printer William Bradford. At the end of his indenture he moved to Maryland, where he evidently established a press, as he petitioned the Assembly there for permission to print the session laws. In 1722, he returned to New York, and after forming a brief partnership with Bradford in 1725, set up his own shop in 1726. In 1733, Zenger established his highly influential newspaper, the New-York Weekly Journal, which competed with Bradford's New York Gazette, and promoted itself as a reform paper advocating the rights of the people. As a result of the paper's anti-establishment stance, Zenger was arrested and imprisoned for several months in 1734 and 1735, but when he was tried for criminal libel, he was acquitted. The trial, of which Zenger himself published an account, is regarded as the first major victory for freedom of the press in America.
Van Driessen's work, published in 1726, one year after Zenger finally broke with Bradford, is one of several theological works printed in Dutch during his first years as an independent printer. This work was published by Zenger simultaneously in translation as The Adorable Ways of God in His Sovereign Government, particularly over the Powers of this World, Explained and Applied in Three Sermons. Brinley 3473; Evans 2820; Sabin 98491 ("A copy was sold in the Goelet sale at the American Art Association, Part I, Jan. 3-4, 1935, lot no. 380, to Dr. A.S.W. Rosenbach for $150.")