Unique French Devotional and Instructional Printing
L'utile et plaisant passe-temps pour tous fidèlles Chréstiens, voulant cognoistre que c'est de vérité en toutes choses.
Rouen: Chez Guillaume Iores, 1615. (BRB0819)
This unique, previously unrecorded devotional and instructional volume can be read in either of two directions. The rectos of each leaf are numbered and can be read sequentially while the versos are printed upside down and also numbered for reading in a separate order and sequence. Each page includes a question (in italic) and answer (in roman type) regarding spirituality, devotional practices, iconography, theological doctrine, or morality. The entire volume comprises 380 questions and answers. Except for a small number of aphorisms or proverbs, all of the answers include an abbreviated citation of the biblical, patristic, or contemporary source.
Examples of the variety of questions (in translation) include: “Could God have created some of us so that we may be damned?”, “Will all saints be equal in heaven?”, “Why does Death carry a scythe?”, “Why does the Cross march at the very front of processions?”, “Which temptation is the most dangerous?”, and (on display) “Do we possess all the canonical books with none missing?”