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CHAPTER VII

How he despised the life of the world and joined himself to Master Gerard

(1)

MASTER FLORENTIUS, therefore, being breathed upon by the Spirit of God and inwardly besprinkled with heavenly dew, suddenly withdrew his idle feet which he had at first planted upon the way of this present world.

He prudently considered that to the short-lived gratification of the flesh there should surely succeed death the ruthless, and grief eternal. He resolved, therefore, to despise the deceitful honours of the world, and to his own exceeding gain thought good to follow the lowly life of Christ, that he might not lose his part in that home-land of the angels which is fair with flowers. Wishing then to converse more intimately with Master Gerard, whom he saw to be zealous toward all men for their soul’s health, he delayed not to approach confidently his reverend presence, and to set in order before him his inmost thoughts; for he looked upon Gerard as the friend and steward of God.

(2) When he came Gerard received him gladly, and opening a loving heart to Florentius held converse with him as he desired, being ready to 96reason with him of any matter concerning which he would inquire.

Coming together they held sweet converse upon the things that pertain to salvation; the heart of each burned with an heavenly flame; the things of earth were of none account, but their good purpose to hold to the service of God was confirmed. For setting an holy life before them, and being zealous to keep citizenship in the country of the Lord, they were made thenceforward of one mind in the love of the Brotherhood. And the manifold grace of Christ was present with them so that they were profitable to salvation not only for themselves but also for their neighbours: for certain learned men and eloquent preachers were added to them, for their comfort and fuller joy and for the adornment of the House of our God. These burning fiercely with that flame which is the gift of the Holy Spirit, chose to walk closely in she footprints of Christ: to despise the world, to wage bold warfare against sin, and so to pass to eternal good.

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