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A treatise on the government of the thoughts; by Bishop John Fell, bulk: 18th century

MS. Rawl. C. 700

  • Request

Divided into twelve sections; with a preface.

The following note is prefixed:

"*This which followeth is a true coppy of some papers which are in the hands of Mr. Jones, who was amanuensis to the Right Reverend Father in God John, Lord Bishop of Oxford. The originall, being all written with the said Bishop's owne hand, was not long before his death which happened July 3, 1686, by him deliver'd to Mr. Jones to be by him transcribed, and from that originall was this coppy taken and carefully compared. 1687.

*This is the account of my Lord Hatton's manuscript, of which this is a faithfull coppy."

The treatise bears no resemblance to that on the same subject published in 1694, which is ascribed to the author of The Whole Duty of Man on the title-page, but which in the preface refers to him only in the following vague terms: "The Tract indeed, in point of justice, must own its original theme to that most excellent and learned author of The Whole Duty of Man; and had not the grave and darkness deprived us of so great a luminary, this treatise would have appeared in perfect lustre with all those embellishments which so exquisite a pen could have rendred it." It would seem from this that the published work was only suggested by the knowledge that a similar work had been contemplated or prepared, and was merely issued under the shelter of a wellknown paronym in order to secure general acceptance.

The sections in the present treatise run as follows:

  1. of thoughts in general;
  2. of incogitancy;
  3. of wandering thoughts;
  4. of wandering thoughts;
  5. of pensive thoughts;
  6. of solicitous thoughts;
  7. of partial thoughts;
  8. of overweening thoughts;
  9. of scrupulous thoughts;
  10. of envious thoughts;
  11. of peevish thoughts;
  12. of angry thoughts.

At the end (fols. 53–55) is added, in another hand, "A prayer compos'd by Dr. Fell, late Bishop of Oxford, at the request of the Lord —," on the state of the Church under the prospect of a re-establishment of Romanism in the time of James II.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 18th century


55 Leaves

Language of Materials

  • English


MS. Rawl. C. 700


Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom