Scale (or Ladder) of Perfection
by Walter Hilton
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Known as the first book of mysticism to be
written in the English language, Hilton's Scale of
Perfection describes the ascent of the human soul from sin to
perfection. Hilton suggests that all humankind should reform from their
sinful souls and embrace a life of ascetic practice, firm faith, and
godly contemplation. The reforming of the soul takes time and is only
possible through the grace of God. Scale of Perfection contains a
of meditations on the seven deadly sins to help Christians recognize the
areas of sin in their lives. Hilton hopes that, upon recognition,
Christians will reject their immoral ways and repent of them. The
metaphor of a disciple journeying to Jerusalem is frequently used to
represent the process of the soul reforming in faith. Upon reaching
Jerusalem, the disciple is filled with an overwhelming sense of peace;
likewise, a soul properly reformed will, at the end of its journey,
reach spiritual peace in the contemplation of God's perfect
CCEL Staff Writer
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