The Scale of Perfection, Book 2, Part 1 – Chapter 3

dohpeterchina's picture

That Reforming in part is in two manners, one in Faith, another in Feeling

This is chapter 5 of The Scale of Perfection – Book 2 in Middle English:
That the reforming in partie is on two maneres. Oon in feyth, anothir in feith and in felynge

dohpeterchina's picture

Chapter 3 comments

Hello everyone,

Hilton opens this chapter telling us that there are further ways that the soul can be reformed. He explains this may be had in this life, and if it be not had in this life, it will never be had, nor the soul ever come to be saved. This reforming happens in two manners, in faith and in faith and feeling. Clark and Dorward note that feeling is here synonymous with understanding. Feeling may be understood as the fullest realisation of God’s presence. In other words the contemplator apprehends God with the five senses of his soul and has a vision of things to come. To have feeling or understanding it is necessary to have faith. Clark and Dorward note that Hilton would have his understand from the Latin which may be translate as: Unless you believe, you shall not understand. (Isaiah 7:9)

Faith is enough for salvation and may be had easily and in short time. Faith, Hilton explains, may exist and the person that has it may feel nothing but all stirrings of sin and fleshly desires. Even if he does not voluntarily assent to it he may be and remain reformed in Faith to the likeness of God. It is for those beginning and established in the spiritual life and also for those on the active life. The image of sin and the feeling of sin remain in the soul.

Faith and feeling is different it will take a long time and be achieved through much spiritual pains. Faith and feeling putteth out the liking in, and delight felt in sensual motions and worldly desires, and suffereth no such spots to abide in this image. It is for perfect souls, and of contemplative men. Faith and feeling destroyeth the old feelings of this image of sin, and bringeth into the soul new gracious feelings, through the workings of the Holy Ghost.

Hilton concludes The first [faith] is good, the second [faith and feeling] is better. These may be attained in our present life, but the third, that is in the bliss of Heaven, is attained only after death in perfect union with God, is best of all. These will be the subjects of the following chapters.

Peter Smith
Co-Group Leader

Peter Smith
Co-Group Leader




Advertisements