Poughkeepsie: Printed for the Author, 1812. First edition. 12mo, original wrappers, 119,  pages. Wrappers somewhat chipped along the edges, spine paper largely perished; some corners a bit creased; cheap paper stock a little browned and foxed; a good, sound copy of an ephemeral item. Item #16587
“And so important did I conceive these things to be in the Christian world, that when taken ill last fall in New-York, and apprehensive that I should not live, it was on my mind to commit the manuscript, just as it was, into the hands of Ezekiel Cooper [the abolitionist Methodist bishop], who was then in the city, with a solemn charge to have it published, as I know of no one whose penetrating mind I thought would be so likely to discover my ideas, and prepare it for the press. And after I had omitted [sic, for committed?] to do this, and was unable to do it by reason of my extreme illness and deranged state of my mind, I believed I should recover and live to put it in readiness myself.” And indeed from this derangement comes an important work of apocalyptic prophecy and an uncommon early work from the eccentric communal religious figure and sometime itinerant Theophilus Gates (1787-1846), later known as the Battle-Axe. Gates embraced perfectionism and in 1837 would publish without permission the views of John Humphrey Noyes on the “nullity of wives,” views which in turn that same year led to the Gates establishing a small colony of fellow Battle-Axes near Pottstown, Pennsylvania, where the group became known for its ready embrace of free love and nudity. This text hints perhaps at his future leanings toward a communal life without assets, offering here for purchase in a terminal Advertisement the copyright to his works: “Having no family, I have no need of the things of this world: and I now declare, once for all, that I will never have any thing; and if after settling for this, and my other publications, any thing remains of my present property; or anything hereafter arises to me from any publication beyond the expense of its publication, it shall be bestowed upon the innocent needy.” American Imprints 25499.