Very rare title by Benjamin Wadsworth [1670-1737], an influential Colonial era American Puritan who pastored concurrently and was friends with Cotton Mather.
Edmund S. Morgan, one of the most important American Puritan scholars, notes the present work as one of the most influential and signficant documents articulating the puritan ethic of home and family in its original theological and devotional context.
Probably not as a coincidence, the same year the present work was published, Wadsworth declared that anyone who either participated in, directly or indirectly, abortion was guilty of murder. This appears to have been the first public articulation of abortion as equivalent with murder in the United States.
The present work includes chapters on on the primary nature of the family as church and the need for family devotion, on the privileges and duties of husbands and wives, on children, and a contextually-fascinating chapter on the treatment of servants [i.e. slaves]. The section on the Master's responsibilities is as pious as we could hope for, but still rather tough to read. [See also Worldly Saints by Leland Ryken, etc.]
No copies on the market at any price; no copies at auction we can trace for the last couple decades.
Wadsworth, Benjamin. The Well-Ordered Family; Or, Relative Duties. Being the Substance of Several Sermons, About Family Prayer, Duties of Husbands & Wives, Duties of Parents & Children, Duties of Masters & Servants. Boston. Printed by S. Green. 1712. 121pp + Contents.
Original diminuitive calf, c.2.75 x 4 inches, which is holding and solid, but well-worn as shown. Blank ffep, pastedown, and title lack. Else, textually complete beginning at text title [A3] and running continuously through the contents, which are bound in the rear, as called for. Some light toning and foxing occasionally, first few leaves a bit rubbed at edges, first leaf shaken with loss of catch-word.
Very early ownership inscription of Elizabeth Heard, perhaps the daughter of the famed Elizabeth Heard who was wife to Captain John Heard and defender of the Indians in the late 17th century against the aggressions of the British Army, etc,.
In better condition, we would be in the $850-$1,250 range for this gem. As is, rare and textually complete, it is a very reasonable copy and affordably priced.