BLTC Press Titles

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The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Baltasar Gracian

Tao Te Ching

Lao Tzu, James Legge (trans.)

The Story of Doctor Dolittle

Hugh Lofting

The Souls of Black Folk

W. E. B. DuBois

Characteristics of true devotion, by the author of 'The hidden life of the soul'. Transl

by Jean Nicolas Grou



HOSE who are familiar with the writings of Pere Grou, " The Hidden Life of the Soul," " The Science of the Cross," and " The Spiritual Maxims? will gladly hail another work by the same author.

This work is so eminently practical that it is hoped it will tneet with the hearty approval which its great merits deserve.

For daily devotional reading it is very earnest and searching, and cannot fail to enrich and stimulate those who are endeavouring to lead a spiritual life.

In all Plre Groups writings there is a remarkable simplicity and directness; they are so



IPreltimnarg aifatee.

NOTWITHSTANDING the general coldness of piety, there are many people who profess much devotion. Few, however, have any true idea of it. The majority follow their own prejudices with regard to it, or their imagination, or their inclination, or their self-love. Hence arise those innumerable faults to which the devout of both sexes, of every age, of every condition and every state, are subject. These faults are not, indeed, such as to endanger salvation; but


they hinder perfection, and place obstacles in the way of holiness. To the worldly they become an occasion of ridicule and blasphemy ; to the weak, a subject of scandal; to ordinary Christians, a pretext which encourages them in carelessness, and deters them from embracing the devout life. How important, then, for pious souls, awake to the glory of God and their own interests, to conceive, according to the gospel, a correct idea of devotion, and to express it in their conduct!

I propose to draw for them a faithful picture of devotion in this little work. I invite them to observe all its features with an attentive eye, and then to cast a look upon themselves. Self-love is so blind, the human will so weak, that I dare not hope they will draw from this comparison all the advantage that should properly result from it. Either they do not see themselves just as they are, or a long habit, become almost a part of their nature, takes away from many the courage and even the desire to reform; or perhaps they find the model too perfect, and, in despair of attaining to it, they do not even try to approach it. However it may be, I shall esteem myself too happy if even a very few profit by these instructions. Besides, I am not writing for devout people only. Many Christians hesitate to enter upon the religious life, and an open profession of such piety as involves entire self-renunciation. This writing may perhaps be the means which God will employ to lead them and establish them irrevocably in the better way. Every day some sinners return to God. They have hitherto been ignorant of his service; and they will now be glad to be instructed by a little book, the reading of which will require but a few hours. Finally, the young, who are beginning to consecrate themselves to God, need to be enlightened, and to learn the true way which leads to him. As they have no prejudices to combat, nor bad habits to correct, it will be sufficient to point out to them the way, that they may enter upon it, and thus be preserved from all the irregularities and all the imperfections of a devotion misapprehended. It is to them that I especially recommend the reading of this book. Those who have charge of their education may put it into their hands when they consider them able to understand and to profit by it; that is, at an age when mind and heart are sufficiently developed. Earlier than that I do not think it would be well to let them read it. The first impression is always the most important for the good or evil effect of a work of piety; for, if it fail then, one rarely returns to it later. Therefore it is better to wait till the young mind is so matured as to receive a deep and lasting impression.

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