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The Scale (Or Ladder) of Perfection

By Hilton, Walter

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Book Id: WPLBN0000217858
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 1.4 MB
Reproduction Date: 2005

Title: The Scale (Or Ladder) of Perfection  
Author: Hilton, Walter
Volume:
Language: English
Subject: Literature, Literature & thought, Writing.
Collections: Classic Literature Collection
Historic
Publication Date:
Publisher: World Ebook Library

Citation

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Hilton, W. (n.d.). The Scale (Or Ladder) of Perfection. Retrieved from http://www.ebooklibrary.org/


Excerpt
IT is only very gradually that we are obtaining a real knowledge of the Middle Ages. Hitherto it has been one of those subjects which no one could approach without getting into a passion. Just as no one can talk soberly of Mary, Queen of Scots, so it would appear as if few could keep their tempers in speaking or writing of the mediaeval time. The fact is that it is only by little that we can understand a period so very different from our own. A chaotic time is always a time of great contrasts, when profound ignorance exists side by side with considerable learning in individual instances, when heresies are wild and monstrous, while faith is touchingly simple and devoted. The real difficulty is to estimate the condition of the masses. It requires a patient spirit of research into minute details and dry statistics, united with a reverential admiration, a sifting criticism as well as a devout imagination, to avoid overweighing isolated instances and attaching undue importance to outstanding and striking features. I am not going to enter upon this dangerous ground. My only anxiety is to protest against what I cannot but consider a great error, both historically and ecclesiastically, the assumption that the Middle Ages are the model time of Christianity. It matters little what a man thinks about mediaeval architecture, vestments and embroidery, but it does matter a good deal what principles a man holds as to what may be called the philosophy of Church History. If he conceives the grand story of God's Church as though it were a pyramid, the apex of which is formed by the Middle Ages, while modern Christendom is on the downward side, then his whole view of Christianity is wrong. The Church never grows old, and it has advantages in the nineteenth century which it had not in the thirteenth. What, however, strikes a student of history most forcibly is that the more minutely we know the ages which are past, the more we learn the oneness of the spirit amidst all outward differences of form. We are every day obtaining more knowledge about the Middle Ages. Much has come to light since, thirty years ago, I wrote some Lives of English Mediaeval Saints at Littlemore, and, little as I have been able to follow the progress of history since then, I have seen enough to acknowledge that recent publications have brought with them the conviction that there was far more interior and mystical life amongst our ancestors than appeared at first sight.

Table of Contents
· CHAPTER II · CHAPTER III · CHAPTER IV · CHAPTER V · CHAPTER VI · CHAPTER VII · CHAPTER VIII · CHAPTER IX · CHAPTER X · CHAPTER XI · CHAPTER XII · CHAPTER XIII · CHAPTER XIV · CHAPTER XV · CHAPTER XVI · CHAPTER XV · CHAPTER XVIII · PART II -- CHAPTER I · CHAPTER II · CHAPTER III · PART III -- CHAPTER I · CHAPTER II · CHAPTER III · CHAPTER IV · CHAPTER V · CHAPTER VI · CHAPTER VII · CHAPTER VIII · CHAPTER IX · CHAPTER X · CHAPTER XI · CHAPTER XII · CHAPTER XIII · CHAPTER XIV · THE SCALE OR LADDER OF PERFECTION


 

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