The Origin of This Book

September 9, 2021 • 1 min

From Introduction to the Devout Life, page n10

Yet it was neither by my own choice nor inclination that this Introduction now appears in public. A truly honourable and virtuous soul, having some time since received of God the grace of aspiring to a devout life, desired my particular assistance for that purpose; and I, being in many ways obliged to her, and having long before discovered in her a warm disposition for this design, and, having conducted her through all the exercises suitable to her desires and condition, I left her certain instructions, in writing, to make use of, and she afterwards communicated those to a great, learned, and devout religious man; who, believing that many might profit from their perusal, earnestly requested me to publish them. I readily acquiesced, from a conviction that his judgment was superior to mine, and because his friendship had great power over my will.

Now that the whole may be more profitable and agreeable, I have revised and arranged it into a kind of method, adding several advices and instructions which appeared suited to my intention. But all this I have done, having scarcely any leisure; for which reason you will find nothing in this treatise exact or in order, but only a heap of good admonitions, delivered in plain and intelligible words, without my having bestowed as much as a thought on the ornaments of language, having business of more consequence on my hands.

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