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49

Here Beginneth a Table of the Chapters

 

THE FIRST CHAPTER

Of four degrees of Christian men’s living; and of the course of his calling that this book was made unto

 

THE SECOND CHAPTER

A short stirring to meekness, and to the work of this book

 

THE THIRD CHAPTER

How the work of this book shall be wrought, and of the worthiness of it before all other works

 

THE FOURTH CHAPTER

Of the shortness of this work, and how it may not be come to by the curiosity of wit, nor by imagination

 

THE FIFTH CHAPTER

That in the time of this work all the creatures that ever have been, be now, or ever shall be, and all the works of those same creatures, should be hid under the cloud of forgetting

 

THE SIXTH CHAPTER

A short conceit of the work of this book, treated by question

 

THE SEVENTH CHAPTER

How a man shall have him in this work against all thoughts, and specially against all those that arise of his own curiosity, of cunning, and of natural wit

 

THE EIGHTH CHAPTER

A good declaring of certain doubts that may fall in this work, treated by question, in destroying of a man’s own curiosity, of cunning, and of natural wit, and in distinguishing of the degrees and the parts of active living and contemplative

 

THE NINTH CHAPTER

That in the time of this work the remembrance of the holiest creature that ever God made letteth more than it profiteth

 

THE TENTH CHAPTER

How a man shall know when his thought is no sin; and if it be sin, when it is deadly and when it is venial

 

THE ELEVENTH CHAPTER

That a man should weigh each thought and each stirring after that it is, and always eschew recklessness in venial sin

 

THE TWELFTH CHAPTER

That by virtue of this work sin is not only destroyed, but also virtues begotten

 

THE THIRTEENTH CHAPTER

What meekness is in itself, and when it is perfect and when it is imperfect

 

THE FOURTEENTH CHAPTER

That without imperfect meekness coming before, it is impossible for a sinner to come to the perfect virtue of meekness in this life

 

THE FIFTEENTH CHAPTER

A short proof against their error that say that there is no perfecter cause to be meeked under, than is the knowledge of a man’s own wretchedness

 

THE SIXTEENTH CHAPTER

That by virtue of this work a sinner truly turned and called to contemplation cometh sooner to perfection than by any other work; and by it soonest may get of God forgiveness of sins

 

THE SEVENTEENTH CHAPTER

That a very contemplative list not meddle him with active life, nor of anything that is done or spoken about him, nor yet to answer to his blamers in excusing of himself

 

THE EIGHTEENTH CHAPTER

How that yet unto this day all actives complain of contemplatives as Martha did of Mary. Of the which complaining ignorance is the cause

 

THE NINETEENTH CHAPTER

A short excusation of him that made this book, teaching how all contemplatives should have all actives fully excused of their complaining words and deeds

 

THE TWENTIETH CHAPTER

How Almighty God will goodly answer for all those that for the excusing of themselves list not leave their business about the love of Him

 

THE ONE AND TWENTIETH CHAPTER

The true exposition of this gospel word, “Mary hath chosen the best part”

 

THE TWO AND TWENTIETH CHAPTER

Of the wonderful love that Christ had to man in person of all sinners truly turned and called to the grace of contemplation

 

THE THREE AND TWENTIETH CHAPTER

How God will answer and purvey for them in spirit, that for business about His love list not answer nor purvey for themselves

 

THE FOUR AND TWENTIETH CHAPTER

What charity is in itself, and how it is truly and perfectly contained in the work of this book.

 

THE FIVE AND TWENTIETH CHAPTER

That in the time of this work a perfect soul hath no special beholding to any one man in this life

 

THE SIX AND TWENTIETH CHAPTER

That without full special grace, or long use in common grace, the work of this book is right travailous; and in this work, which is the work of the soul helped by grace, and which is the work of only God

 

THE SEVEN AND TWENTIETH CHAPTER

Who should work in the gracious work of this book

 

THE EIGHT AND TWENTIETH CHAPTER

That a man should not presume to work in this work before the time that he be lawfully cleansed in conscience of all his special deeds of sin

 

THE NINE AND TWENTIETH CHAPTER

That a man should bidingly travail in this work, and suffer the pain thereof, and judge no man

 

THE THIRTIETH CHAPTER

Who should blame and condemn other men’s defaults

 

THE ONE AND THIRTIETH CHAPTER

How a man should have him in beginning of this work against all thoughts and stirrings of sin

 

THE TWO AND THIRTIETH CHAPTER

Of two ghostly devices that be helpful to a ghostly beginner in the work of this book

 

THE THREE AND THIRTIETH CHAPTER

That in this work a soul is cleansed both of his special sins and of the pain of them, and yet how there is no perfect rest in this life

 

THE FOUR AND THIRTIETH CHAPTER

That God giveth this grace freely without any means, and that it may not be come to with means

 

THE FIVE AND THIRTIETH CHAPTER

Of three means in the which a contemplative prentice should be occupied; in reading, thinking, and praying

 

THE SIX AND THIRTIETH CHAPTER

Of the meditations of them that continually travail in the work of this book

 

THE SEVEN AND THIRTIETH CHAPTER

Of the special prayers of them that be continual workers in the work of this book

 

THE EIGHT AND THIRTIETH CHAPTER

How and why that short prayer pierceth heaven

 

THE NINE AND THIRTIETH CHAPTER

How a perfect worker shall pray, and what prayer is in itself; and, if a man shall pray in words, which words accord them most to the property of prayer

 

THE FORTIETH CHAPTER

That in the time of this work a soul hath no special beholding to any vice in itself nor to any virtue in itself

 

THE ONE AND FORTIETH CHAPTER

That in all other works beneath this, men should keep discretion; but in this none

 

THE TWO AND FORTIETH CHAPTER

That by indiscretion in this, men shall keep discretion in all other things; and surely else never

 

THE THREE AND FORTIETH CHAPTER

That all writing and feeling of a man’s own being must needs be lost if the perfection of this work shall verily be felt in any soul in this life

 

THE FOUR AND FORTIETH CHAPTER

How a soul shall dispose it on its own part, for to destroy all witting and feeling of its own being

 

THE FIVE AND FORTIETH CHAPTER

A good declaring of some certain deceits that may befall in this work

 

THE SIX AND FORTIETH CHAPTER

A good teaching how a man shall flee these deceits, and work more with a listiness of spirit, than with any boisterousness of body

 

THE SEVEN AND FORTIETH CHAPTER

A slight teaching of this work in purity of spirit; declaring how that on one manner a soul should shew his desire unto God, and on ye contrary, unto man

 

THE EIGHT AND FORTIETH CHAPTER

How God will be served both with body and with soul, and reward men in both; and how men shall know when all those sounds and sweetness that fall into the body in time of prayer be both good and evil

 

THE NINE AND FORTIETH CHAPTER

The substance of all perfection is nought else but a good will; and how that all sounds and comforts and sweetness that may befall in this life be to it but as it were accidents

 

THE FIFTIETH CHAPTER

Which is chaste love; and how in some creatures such sensible comforts be but seldom, and in some right oft

 

THE ONE AND FIFTIETH CHAPTER

That men should have great wariness so that they understand not bodily a thing that is meant ghostly; and specially it is good to be wary in understanding of this word in, and of this word up

 

THE TWO AND FIFTIETH CHAPTER

How these young presumptuous disciples misunderstand this word in, and of the deceits that follow thereon

 

THE THREE AND FIFTIETH CHAPTER

Of divers unseemly practices that follow them that lack the work of this book

 

THE FOUR AND FIFTIETH CHAPTER

How that by virtue of this work a man is governed full wisely, and made full seemly as well in body as in soul

 

THE FIVE AND FIFTIETH CHAPTER

How they be deceived that follow the fervour of spirit in condemning of some without discretion

 

THE SIX AND FIFTIETH CHAPTER

How they be deceived that lean more to the curiosity of natural wit, and of clergy learned in the school of men than to the common doctrine and counsel of Holy Church

 

THE SEVEN AND FIFTIETH CHAPTER

How these young presumptuous disciples misunderstand this other word up; and of the deceits that follow thereon

 

THE EIGHT AND FIFTIETH CHAPTER

That a man shall not take ensample of Saint Martin and of Saint Stephen, for to strain his imagination bodily upwards in the time of his prayer

 

THE NINE AND FIFTIETH CHAPTER

That a man shall not take ensample at the bodily ascension of Christ, for to strain his imagination upwards bodily in the time of prayer: and that time, place, and body, these three should be forgotten in all ghostly working

 

THE SIXTIETH CHAPTER

That the high and the next way to heaven is run by desires, and not by paces of feet

 

THE ONE AND SIXTIETH CHAPTER

That all bodily thing is subject unto ghostly thing, and is ruled thereafter by the course of nature, and not contrariwise

 

THE TWO AND SIXTIETH CHAPTER

How a man may wit when his ghostly work is beneath him or without him and when it is even with him or within him, and when it is above him and under his God

 

THE THREE AND SIXTIETH CHAPTER

Of the powers of a soul in general, and how Memory in special is a principal power comprehending in it all the other powers and all those things in the which they work

 

THE FOUR AND SIXTIETH CHAPTER

Of the other two principal powers, Reason and Will, and of the work of them before sin and after

 

THE FIVE AND SIXTIETH CHAPTER

Of the first secondary power, Imagination by name; and of the works and of the obedience of it unto Reason, before sin and after

 

THE SIX AND SIXTIETH CHAPTER

Of the other secondary power, Sensuality by name; and of the works and of the obedience of it unto Will, before sin and after

 

THE SEVEN AND SIXTIETH CHAPTER

That whoso knoweth not the powers of a soul and the manner of her working, may lightly be deceived in understanding of ghostly words and of ghostly working; and how a soul is made a God in grace

 

THE EIGHT AND SIXTIETH CHAPTER

That nowhere bodily, is everywhere ghostly; and how our outer man calleth the work of this book nought

 

THE NINE AND SIXTIETH CHAPTER

How that a man’s affection is marvelously changed in ghostly feeling of this nought, when it is nowhere wrought

 

THE SEVENTIETH CHAPTER

That right as by the defailing of our bodily wits we begin more readily to come to knowing of ghostly things, so by the defailing of our ghostly wits we begin most readily to come to the knowledge of God, such as is possible by grace to be had here

 

THE ONE AND SEVENTIETH CHAPTER

That some may not come to feel the perfection of this work but in time of ravishing, and some may have it when they will, in the common state of man’s soul

 

THE TWO AND SEVENTIETH CHAPTER

That a worker in this work should not deem nor think of another worker as he feeleth in himself

 

THE THREE AND SEVENTIETH CHAPTER

How that after the likeness of Moses, of Bezaleel and of Aaron meddling them about the Ark of the Testament, we profit on three manners in this grace of contemplation, for this grace is figured in that Ark

 

THE FOUR AND SEVENTIETH CHAPTER

How that the matter of this book is never more read or spoken, nor heard read or spoken, of a soul disposed thereto without feeling of a very accordance to the effect of the same work: and of rehearsing of the same charge that is written in the prologue

 

THE FIVE AND SEVENTIETH CHAPTER

Of some certain tokens by the which a man may prove whether he be called of God to work in this work

 

AND HERE ENDETH THE TABLE OF THE CHAPTERS

64

 

GHOSTLY FRIEND IN GOD, I pray thee and I beseech thee that thou wilt have a busy beholding to the course and the manner of thy calling. And thank God heartily so that thou mayest through help of His grace stand stiffly in the state, in the degree, and in the form of living that thou hast entirely purposed against all the subtle assailing of thy bodily and ghostly enemies, and win to the crown of life that evermore lasteth. Amen.

 

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