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II226226   This is Letter XLIII. of Book I. in Gerberon’s edition.

To Herlivin,227227   Herlwin is often mentioned in St Anselm’s correspondence. From the roll of monks of Bec he seems to have been considerably the senior of Anselm in the monastery. He was a namesake, perhaps a kinsman, of the founder. Gondulf228228   Gondulf was one of St Anselm’s dearest friends. He became a monk of Bec very shortly before Anselm himself, was brought to England by Lanfranc, and raised to the see of Rochester in 1077. He died at the age of eighty-four in 1108 and was buried by Anselm’s side at Canterbury. He was the architect of the White Tower of London., and Maurice,229229   Maurice was an intimate friend and frequent correspondent. He was one of those who urged Anselm to write the Monologium. Monks of Bec sojourning in Christ Church, Canterbury.230230   The cathedral clergy of Canterbury were at this time Benedictine monks, and therefore under the same rule as the monks of Bee, of which Anselm was Prior at this time, and to which his correspondents belonged. During the primacy of Lanfranc and Anselm there was much intercourse between Bee, of which both arch bishops had been prior and Anselm also abbot, and Christ Church, Canterbury, of which convent the Archbishops were considered to be ex officio Abbots, the actual governor bearing only the inferior title of Prior.

TO his brethren and dearest friends, Dom Herlwin, Dom Gondulf and Dom Maurice, Brother Anselm, with the hope that 140going from strength to strength231231   Ps. lxxxiv. 7. they may attain unto Christ who is the supreme strength of God.

Since you have all one purpose and I have one desire for you all, I join you together and address you all at once in the same letter. If your kindness remembers what manner of men I always wish to see you when you are with me, you know well enough what manner of men I constantly desire to hear you are when you are away from me. For since, as my conscience bears witness, I have from my heart—I do not say, expended—but wished to expend on all of you the love of a brother and on one of you232232   Maurice. the care of a father, no interval of land or sea has been able to break off this affectionate regard of mine for you. And so, although you have incentives enough to duly progress in the good course on which you have entered; for you have the counsel and advice of our reverend Lord and Father the Archbishop233233   Lanfranc. close at hand, you have that constant custom of private meditation which your monastic profession imposes on each 141one of you, you have the frequent excitement of zeal by mutual religious conversation; yet my unceasing love for you makes me unwilling you should miss my poor exhortations also, though you are absent from me and need them not. And so I admonish and entreat you, my dearest friends, that nothing may distract the mind from watchfulness over self. Let it anxiously consider what gain and progress it makes every day,—lest which God forbid!—it lose and go backward. For in the practice of virtue, as it is harder to attain something new by effort than to lose something old by sloth, so it is more difficult to recover what is lost by negligence than to acquire what one has not yet been observed to possess. Therefore, my beloved friends, always count what is past as nothing, yet without being ashamed to hold that fast to which you have once attained; and though from infirmity you fail to add anything new thereto, yet always strive to do so, without giving in. For that among many called few only are chosen,234234   Matt. xx. 16. we are assured by the word of the Truth Himself; but we are all ignorant how few are chosen, for concerning this that same Truth was silent. And so whoever does not yet live as those few live who are chosen, must either amend his life, so as to set himself among the few; or else have a sure and certain fear of reprobation: but if a man think he is already one of the few, he ought not straightway to be 142confident that he is chosen. For since none of us knows how few the elect may be, no man can know that he is already one of the few elect, although he be already like the few among the many called. And so no one should look behind him, and think how many are not so far advanced as he in the way to the heavenly country; but one should look steadily forward and anxiously ask himself, whether he is walking as well as those of whose election no one doubts. See then, my dearest friends, that nothing cool the fear of God which you have conceived; but grow more and more fervent from day to day, as though the fire in you was fanned by your unwearying zeal, until it be changed for you into the steadfast light of eternal security.

Farewell, my most loving friends; and I beg you, by the brotherly love you owe me, pray with special earnestness that 1, who exhort you to improvement, may not myself finish that miserable course of failure which I began long since, and now have almost done.235235   Anselm cannot have been more than forty-five at this time, but his health was probably already injured by his austerities. He lived however to be seventy-six.

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