VIGOR, S. De l’Estat et Gouvernement de l’Eglise, Quatre Livres. I. De la Monarchie Ecclesiastique. II. De l’Infaillibilité. III. De la Discipline Ecclesiastique. IV. Des Conciles. Avec La Preface, contenant une sommaire response au livre de Me Theophraste Bouju, dict Beaulieu, de la Defense de la Hierarchie de l’Eglise, & de nostre S. Pere le Pape, &c. Ensemble Une Epistre sur la pretenduë Justification des faussetez de M. C. Durand, Docteur en Theologie, en son discours, intitulé, Advis, &c. Par Mr. Simon Vigor, Conseiller du Roy en son Grand Conseil. A Troyes, Chez Pierre Sourdet, 1621. Title printed in red and black and within printed double-line border. , 437, [1, errata] pp. Small 8vo. Contemporary vellum, a bit wrinkled and spotted, handwritten title to spine.
Not in BMSTC, French Books 1601-1700; Cioranescu 66535.
Scarce first edition of this important work defending the rights of the Gallican Church.
Simon Vigor (1556-1624) was an ardent defender of radical Gallicanism and especially the form it had taken in Edmond Richer’s De Ecclesiastica et politica potestate libellus, published in Paris in 1611. Vigor, in this De l’Estat et gouvernement de l’Eglise, defends and further elaborates the thesis of Edmond Richer. Richer, in his Historia Conciliorum Generalium as with other works, elaborated upon and defended Gallicanism, a theory that described the limits of papal power, and provided one of the early constructs of what later evolved as the concept of “separation of church and state”. Richer’s explanation and defense of the theory and practice of Gallicanism was an expression of French resistance to the power and reach of the Pope during that period.
With the Declaration of the Clergy of France in 1682, a four article document which codified the principles of Gallicanism, ended, at least temporarily, the debate between Rome and the French monarchy, between the temporal and the spiritual powers. These four articles stated the following: the first that sovereigns cannot submit in temporal matters to any ecclesiastical power, subjects cannot be released by such a power from their due obedience of sovereigns; the second and third limit the pope’s plenitude of power by the authority of General Councils and the constitution of the Gallican church, while the fourth concedes the pope’s primcay in questions of faith, but made it depend in the last resort on the consensus of the church. – Verso front free end paper a long handwritten note discussing the Troyes imprint, which was the result of the friendship between François Desmarets (from Troyes) and François Pithou, whose theological and political conceptions were similar to those held by Simon Vigor (according to this note). Manuscript ex-libris on title, small stamp of the Petit Séminaire de Troyes on first page of the tables, a nice copy.
Interestingly, this title is mentioned in Graesse, Trésor des Livres Rares et Précieux, volume 6, p. 315, but is there listed under Simon Vigor, the uncle of the author of this work, with other works by Simon Vigor, the Elder.