This, Reader, is the entertainment of those who let loose their own thoughts, and follow them in writing; which thou oughtest not to envy them, since they afford thee an opportunity of the like diversion, if thou wilt make use of thy own thoughts in reading. It is to them, if they are thy own, that I refer myself: but if they are taken upon trust from others, it is no great matter what they are, they not following truth, but some meaner consideration; and it is not worth while to be concerned, what he says or thinks, who says or thinks only as he is directed by another. If thou judgest for thyself, I know thou wilt judge candidly; and then I shall not be harmed or offended, whatever be thy censure. For though it be certain, that there is nothing in this treatise, of the truth whereof I am not fully persuaded; yet I consider myself as liable to mistakes, as I can think thee, and know that this book must stand or fall with thee, not by any opinion I have of it, but thy own. If thou findest little in it new or instructive to thee, thou art not to blame me for it. It was not meant for those that had already mastered this subject, and made a thorough acquaintance with their own understandings; but for my own information, and the satisfaction of a few friends, who acknowledged themselves not to have sufficiently considered it. Were it fit to trouble thee with the history of this Essay, I should tell thee, that five or six friends meeting at my chamber, and discoursing on a subject very remote from this, found themselves quickly at a stand, by the difficulties that rose on every side. After we had a while puzzled ourselves, without coming any nearer a resolution of those doubts which perplexed us, it came into my thoughts, that we took a wrong course; and that before we set ourselves upon inquiries of that nature, it was necessary to examine our own abilities, and see what objects our understandings were, or were not, fitted to deal with. This I proposed to the company, who all readily assented; and thereupon it was agreed, that this should be our first inquiry. Some hasty and undigested thoughts on a subject I had never before considered, which I set down against our next meeting, gave the first entrance into this discourse; which having been thus begun by chance, was continued by intreaty; written by incoherent parcels; and after long intervals of neglect, resumed again, as my humour or occasions permitted; and at last, in a retirement, where an attendance on my health gave me leisure, it was brought into that order thou now seest it.
89. 3 We shall not be far astray if we suppose that the 'horrid pride'of which the three monks were guilty was some form of insubordination. The relation between humility and obedience in the monk is discussed by H. B. Workman in his essay, (London, 1913), pp. 68-74. "The third fundamental idea of Monasticism," he says, "first specifically introduced by Pachomius, was the renunciation of the will. This is sometimes called obedience, sometimes humility; in reality, from the Monastic standpoint the two tend to become one. The two are related as cause and effect; they are different aspects of that complete self-renunciation which is higher than any mere outer surrender. The man who has nailed his inner self to the cross cannot be otherwise than humble; while the humble man will show his humility by a perfect obedience."
Dec 01, 2009 · Sonnet 18 Shall I Compare Thee To ..
One Paulinus, a priest, had come to Saint Severinus, whose fame was extending. He tarried some days in the company of the saint. When he wished to return home, Severinus said to him, "Hasten, venerable priest; for, beloved, the episcopal dignity shall speedily adorn thee, even if, as we believe, thou opposest the desire of the peoples." And presently, when he returned to his own country, the word of the prophet was fulfilled unto him. For the citizens of Tiburnia, which is the metropolis of Noricum, compelled him to assume the preeminence of the highest priesthood.