rend er the text into English as it is spoken tod ay rather than the clou dy, archaic
terminology that encum bers so many translation s of Ch ristian classics. Th e result, we
feel, has achieved a directness and con ciseness wh ich will meet the app roval of modern
readers. In the second place, we have made use of the familiar paragraph form, doing
away with the simp le statement or verse form of the original and of many translation s.
Th is was done in the interest of easier reading, and in order to bring ou t more clearly
the connection between the single statements.
Th eories most popu lar at the moment ascribe theImitation to two or three men, members of the Brethren of the Comm on Life, an association of priests organized in the Netherland s in the latter half of the fou rteenth century. Th at Th om as Hemerken of
Kemp en, or Th om as \u00c0 Kemp is as he is now kn ow n, later translated a com posite of their
writings, essentially a spiritual diary, from the original Netherland ish into Latin is
generally adm itted by scholars. Th is Th om as, born about the year 1380, was edu cated
by the Brethren of the Comm on Life, was moved to join their com mu nity, and was
ordained priest. His career thereafter was devoted to practicing the cou nsels of spiritual
perfection and to cop ying books for the schools. From both pu rsuits evolvedT he
theImitation became and has remained, after the Bible, the most widely read book in the world. It is his edition that is here rend ered into English, without deletion of chapters or parts of them because doubts exist as to their authorship, or because of variants in style, or for any of the other more or less valid reason s.
11 Acquiring Peace and Zeal for Perfection
12 The Value of Adversity
13 Resisting Temptation
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