Table of Contents

Title Page

Publishers' Note


An Essay on the Spiritual Life of Mediaeval England






CHAPTER I: Of the Knowledge of a Man's Soul and the Powers thereof necessary to Contemplation

CHAPTER II: Of the Worthiness and Excellency of the Soul and how it was lost





CHAPTER VII: Of Covetousness and how a Man may know how much of it is hid in his Heart


CHAPTER IX: Of the Five Windows of this dark Image, and what cometh in by them, and how they are to be ordered

CHAPTER X: Of another Hole or Window that is to be stopped as well as the Windows of the Senses, namely, the Imagination

CHAPTER XI: A Brief Rehearsal of what hath been said in the former Chapters, with a Portraiture of this dark Image of sin

CHAPTER XII: A comparing of this Image with the Image of Jesus, and how it is to be dealt with

CHAPTER XIII: How a Man shall be shapen to the Image of Jesus, and Jesus shapen in him

CHAPTER XIV: The Conclusion of this Book, and of the Cause why it was made, and how she for whom it was made was to make use of it




CHAPTER II: Of two Manners of reforming of this Image, one in fulness, another in part

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

CHAPTER IV: That through the Sacrament of Baptism (which is grounded in the Passion of Christ) this Image is reformed from Original Sin

CHAPTER V: That through the Sacrament of Penance (that consisteth in Contrition, Confession and Satisfaction) this Image is reformed from Actual Sin

CHAPTER VI: That we are to believe stedfastly the reforming of this Image, if our Conscience witness to us a full forsaking of Sin, and a true turning of our Will to good living

CHAPTER VII: That all the Souls that live humbly in the Faith of Holy Church, and have their Faith enlivened with Love and Charity, be reformed by this Sacrament, though it be so that they cannot feel the special gift of Devotion or of spiritual feeling

CHAPTER VIII: That Souls reformed need ever to fight and strive against the Motions of sin while they live here. And how a Soul may know when she assenteth to these Motions and when not

CHAPTER IX: That this Image is both fair and foul whilst it is in this Life here, though it be reformed; and of the Differences of the secret Feelings of those that be reformed and those that be not

CHAPTER X: Of three sorts of Men, whereof some be not reformed, and some be reformed only in Faith, and some both in Faith and Feeling

CHAPTER XI: How Men that abide and live in Sin, misshape themselves into the likeness of divers Beasts, and they be called the Lovers of the World



CHAPTER I: OF REFORMING IN FAITH AND FEELING ALSO: That this Reforming cannot be suddenly gotten, but in length of Time, by Grace, and much Spiritual and Corporal Industry


CHAPTER III: An Entry or good Beginning of a Spiritual Journey, showing how a Soul should behave herself in intending and working that will come to this Reforming, by example of a Pilgrim going to Jerusalem

CHAPTER IV: Of certain Temptations and Lettings which Souls feel from their Spiritual Enemies, in their Spiritual knowing and going towards Jerusalem, and the Remedies against them

CHAPTER V: Of an evil Day and a good Night, and what they mean, and how the Love of the World is likened to an evil Day, and the love of God to a good Night

CHAPTER VI: How that the Desire of Jesus felt in this lightsome Darkness slayeth all Motions of Sin, and enableth the Soul to perceive spiritual Lightnings from the heavenly Jerusalem, that is, Jesus

CHAPTER VII: How a Man shall know false Illuminations that are feigned by the Enemy, from the true Light of knowing that cometh out of Jesus, and by what tokens

CHAPTER VIII: How great profit it is to the Soul to be brought through Grace into lightsome Darkness, and how a Man shall dispose himself if he will come thereto

CHAPTER IX: That the Working of our Lord Jesus in the Reforming of a Soul, is divided into four times, which are: Calling, Justifying, Magnifying and Glorifying

CHAPTER X: How it falleth out sometimes that Souls that are but beginning or profiting in Grace seem to have more Love, as to outward tokens thereof, than some have that be perfect, and yet it is not really so in their Interior

CHAPTER XI: After what manner a Man shall come to know his own Soul, and how a Man should set his Love in Jesus, God and Man in one Person


CHAPTER I: In what Sense this Manner of Speaking of Reforming of a Soul in Feeling is to be understood; and in what Manner it is reformed, and how it is found in St Paul's Writings

CHAPTER II: How God openeth the inward Eye of the Soul to see Him, not all at once, but by divers times, and of three Manners of reforming of a Soul explained by a familiar Example

CHAPTER III: How Jesus is Heaven to the Soul, and why He is called Fire

CHAPTER IV: Of two manner of Loves, created and uncreated, and how we are bound to love Jesus much for our Creation; but more for our Redemption; and most of all for our Salvation, through the gifts of His Love

CHAPTER V: How that some Souls love Jesus by bodily Fervours, and by their own human Affections that are moved by Grace and by Reason. And how some love Him more quietly by spiritual Affections only moved inwardly through spiritual Grace of the Holy Ghost

CHAPTER VI: That the Gift of Love, amongst all other Gifts of Jesus, is most worthy and most profitable. And how Jesus doth all that is well done in His lovers, only for Love. And how Love maketh the exercise of all virtues and all good Deeds light and easy

CHAPTER VII: How Love through gracious Beholding of Jesus slayeth all stirrings of Pride; and maketh the Soul to lose the savour and delight in all earthly Honours

CHAPTER VIII: How Love slayeth all stirrings of Wrath and Envy easily; and reformeth in the Soul the virtues of Peace and Patience, and of perfect Charity to his Neighbour, as He did specially in the Apostles

CHAPTER IX: How Love slayeth Covetousness, Lechery and Gluttony, and the fleshly delight and savour in all the five Bodily Senses, softly and easily, through a gracious beholding of Jesus

CHAPTER X: What virtues and Graces a Soul receiveth through opening of the inner eye into the gracious Beholding of Jesus, and how it cannot be gotten only by Man's Labour, but through special Grace and his own Labour also

CHAPTER XI: How such special Grace for the Beholding of our Lord Jesus is withdrawn sometimes from a Soul; and how a Soul is to behave herself in the Absence and in the Presence of Jesus, and how a Soul shall alway desire (as much as is in her) the gracious Presence of Jesus

CHAPTER XII: A Commendation of Prayer offered up to Jesus by a Contemplative Soul, and how stableness in Prayer is a secure work to stand in; and how every Feeling of Grace in a chosen Soul may be called Jesus. But the more clean the Soul is, the more worthy the Grace is

CHAPTER XIII: How a Soul through the opening of the spiritual Eye receiveth a gracious Love enabling to understand the Holy Scriptures, and how Jesus, that is hid in the Holy Scriptures, showeth Himself to His Lovers

CHAPTER XIV: Of the secret Voice of Jesus sounding in a Soul, and how it may be known. And how all the gracious Illuminations made in a Soul be called the Speakings of Jesus



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