St John's College O.5 (James 397)

Pierre Cuppé, 'Le Ciel Ouvert'. French, early eighteenth century

Pierre Cuppé (1664?-1748?): 'Le Ciel ouvert a tous les hommes ou traité theologique dans le quel sans rien deranger des pratiques de la Religion on prouve solidement par l'Ecriture Sainte et la raison que tous les hommes seront sauvez / Composé par Pierre Cuppé prestre Bachelier au Theologie Chanoine regulier de St Augustin et Prieur Curé de la paroisse de Bois dans le Diocese de Xaintes' (fo. 11r-11v). The text ends with two lines erased at fo. 268v. This unorthodox work was written before 1716. It circulated widely in France, initially in MS and then, from 1768, in a printed edition, reprinted in 1783. The French printing was preceded by an English translation, Heaven open to all men: or, a theological treatise, in which, without unsettling the practice of religion, is solidly proved, by scripture and reason, that all men shall be saved, or, made finally happy ([London] : [for Jacob Robinson], [1748]). See Ira O. Wade, The clandestine organisation and diffusion of philosophic ideas in France from 1700 to 1750 (Princeton, 1938), p. 83 et seq.

Manuscript extra information

230x175 mm. ii+270 (wants 1)+ii fos (contemporary foliation). Bequeathed to the College by Antonio Ferrari, 1744 (printed Ferrari Bequest plate inside front cover; Ferrari's signature at fo. ii v). Small College bookplate (eighteenth century) at fo. ii v.

A single hand; a clean copy. Paper, the text 14-15 lines to a page, measuring c. 170x110 mm. Half leather, marbled paper on boards; contemporary label: 'Le Ciel Ouvert'; classmark on two eighteenth-century paper labels at the spine.


Jean-Louis Quantin, 'Deux manuscrits clandestins et la question de la diffusion de la pensée française en Angleterre', La Lettre Clandestine no. 10, 2001, pp. 143-150.