Lot n° 18
8000 - 10000
BOSSUET Jacques-Bénigne (1627-1704).
COLLECTION comprising autograph MANUSCRITS and 2
L.A.S.; 4 pages in-fol. and 32 pages in-4, window-mounted in in-fol. sheets of strong vellum paper, the whole bound in an in-folio volume, midnight blue glazed calf, gilt lace inside (Rivière); blue half-maroquin box with corners by Loutrel, slipcase.
Important set of manuscripts, fragments, notes and letters.
* Exordium and development of a panegyric of Saint Benedict, composed in Metz around 1654, and pronounced in a Benedictine church or in the abbey of the Benedictines of Sainte-Glossinde, and reputedly lost; Bossuet, in another panegyric of Saint Benedict, composed in Paris in 1665, refers twice to this first panegyric (6 pages, with numerous erasures and corrections). The exordium (2 pages in-4 of a bifeuillet) is written on the back of a copy of an act concerning the powers of Bédacier, bishop of Auguste, and of the chapter during the vacancy of the see of Metz in 1652: "Even though men are divided into so many different conditions, however, according to the scripture, there are strictly speaking only two kinds of men, of whom one knows the world and the other the city of God. This solemn division came from the fact that man has only two principal parts which are the animal part and the reasonable part"... The two leaves of the development (paginated 6 and 7, 4 pages in-fol.) begin thus: "And yet the victory is ours. Have good courage says he I have overcome the world. He dwells in our hearts through faith, says His great apostle St. Paul. Paul [...] It is impossible for us not to overcome the world, because, says the apostle St. John, and he who is in us, is the one who is in us. John says, and he who is in us is greater than he who is in the world"... Let us quote again this passage on Saint Benedict: "Thus victorious over the world, he confirms himself all the more in his good designs. Here it seems to me if in front of the gloriously overcome flesh shall I speak here of riches? But is it necessary to add anything to what I said earlier? Is there anything poorer than St. Benedict who subsists only on alms, who lives only on the remains of another man as poor as himself? What shall I tell you about the contempt for honors? Etc.
* Second exordium of a sermon on the Passion of Jesus Christ, pronounced on April 15, 1661. Working manuscript, with numerous corrections (4 p. in-4). "In the rich description that the Holy Spirit gives us in the exodus of the clothing of the Pontiff, what I find most remarkable is that he was ordered never to appear before God without wearing on his chest the doctrine and the truth in this misterious tunic which is called by Moses the rational of the judgment [...] Let us notice before all else that Jesus is on the Cross as a victim, that he is there as a Redeemer, that he is there as a combatant. As a victim, he loses himself, as a Redeemer he saves souls, as a fighter, he wins Heaven"... * Notes concerning the preface of Jean MABILLON on Saint Augustin, justifying preface written in 1699 for the Benedictine edition of the Works of Saint Augustin, edition which one accused of Jansenism (6 and 2 p. in-4). Mabillon submitted his manuscript to Bossuet who annotated it (BnF, Ms latin 11665), but who also wrote these notes concerning the seven rules established by Mabillon for the understanding of Saint Augustin on the matters of grace (the note on the 4th rule is preserved at the BnF in the Rothschild collection). Bossuet comments here at length on the 3rd rule (corresponding to pages 39-42 of Mabillon's manuscript) : " One is committed here to proving two things : one that the existing grace of St Augustine is sufficient and that it gives the power to do well if one wants ; the other that St Augustine does not give it this name. [...] It is to confuse all ideas to say that we can call or that St Augustine could call or ever called by the name of sufficient grace either the general concurrence, or the natural possibility of good. For for the first the concurrence is of the natural order, and all that is called or can be called sufficient grace is understood to be of a supernatural order"... Then on the 5th rule (p. 76 of Mabillon), which has two parts: "one that effective grace proves that the precepts are not impossible since it makes them accomplished"... * Fragment of the Letter of a doctor in theology of the faculty of Paris to the abbot ***, doctor of the same faculty (2 p. in-4 with erasures and correction), which was spread handwritten in 1697 before being published in the Relation on quietism of Phelypeaux, great vicar of Bossuet, in 1732. Bossuet answers anonymously to a letter of FÉNELON, archbishop of Cambrai, on the oraison and the perfect love: "one sees the oraison that is to say the soul of the religion not only [men]t attacked but also in peril and a low and interested practice to which the Christians are accustomed. Perfect love is forbidden, he adds, even to the most devout souls.
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