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Thomas á Kempis

The Imitation of Christ

by Thomas a Kempis




CHAPTER I - Of the imitation of Christ, and of contempt of the world and all its vanities

CHAPTER II - Of thinking humbly of oneself

CHAPTER III - Of the knowledge of truth

CHAPTER IV - Of prudence in action

CHAPTER V - Of the reading of Holy Scriptures

CHAPTER VI - Of inordinate affections

CHAPTER VII - Of fleeing from vain hope and pride

CHAPTER VIII - Of the danger of too much familiarity

CHAPTER IX - Of obedience and subjection

CHAPTER X - Of the danger of superfluity of words

CHAPTER XI - Of seeking peace of mind and of spiritual progress

CHAPTER XII - Of the uses of adversity

CHAPTER XIII - Of resisting temptation

CHAPTER XIV - On avoiding rash judgment

CHAPTER XV - Of works of charity

CHAPTER XVI - Of bearing with the faults of others

CHAPTER XVII - Of a religious life

CHAPTER XVIII - Of the example of the Holy Fathers

CHAPTER XIX - Of the exercises of a religious man

CHAPTER XX - Of the love of solitude and silence

CHAPTER XXI - Of compunction of heart

CHAPTER XXII - On the contemplation of human misery

CHAPTER XXIII - Of meditation upon death

CHAPTER XXIV - Of the judgment and punishment of the wicked

CHAPTER XXV - Of the zealous amendment of our whole life


CHAPTER I - Of the inward life

CHAPTER II - Of lowly submission

CHAPTER III - Of the good, peaceable man

CHAPTER IV - Of a pure mind and simple intention

CHAPTER V - Of self-esteem

CHAPTER VI - Of the joy of a good conscience

CHAPTER VII - Of loving Jesus above all things

CHAPTER VIII - Of the intimate love of Jesus

CHAPTER IX - Of the lack of all comfort

CHAPTER X - Of gratitude for the Grace of God

CHAPTER XI - Of the fewness of those who love the Cross of Jesus

CHAPTER XII - Of the royal way of the Holy Cross


CHAPTER I - Of the inward voice of Christ to the faithful soul

CHAPTER II - What the truth saith inwardly without noise of words

CHAPTER III - How all the words of God are to be heard with humility, and how many consider them not

CHAPTER IV - How we must walk in truth and humility before God

CHAPTER V - Of the wonderful power of the Divine Love

CHAPTER VI - Of the proving of the true lover

CHAPTER VII - Of hiding our grace under the guard of humility

CHAPTER VIII - Of a low estimation of self in the sight of God

CHAPTER IX - That all things are to be referred to God, as the final end

CHAPTER X - That it is sweet to despise the world and to serve God

CHAPTER XI - That the desires of the heart are to be examined and governed

CHAPTER XII - Of the inward growth of patience, and of the struggle against evil desires

CHAPTER XIII - Of the obedience of one in lowly subjection after the example of Jesus Christ

CHAPTER XIV - Of meditation upon the hidden judgments of God, that we may not be lifted up because of our well-doing

CHAPTER XV - How we must stand and speak, in everything that we desire

CHAPTER XVI - That true solace is to be sought in God alone

CHAPTER XVII - That all care is to be cast upon God

CHAPTER XVIII - That temporal miseries are to be borne patiently after the example of Christ

CHAPTER XIX - Of bearing injuries, and who shall be approved as truly patient

CHAPTER XX - Of confession of our infirmity and of the miseries of this life

CHAPTER XXI - That we must rest in God above all goods and gifts

CHAPTER XXII - Of the recollection of God's manifold benefits

CHAPTER XXIII - Of four things which bring great peace

CHAPTER XXIV - Of avoiding of curious inquiry into the life of another

CHAPTER XXV - Wherein firm peace of heart and true profit consist

CHAPTER XXVI - Of the exaltation of a free spirit, which humble prayer more deserveth than doth frequent reading

CHAPTER XXVII - That personal love greatly hindereth from the highest good

CHAPTER XXVIII - Against the tongues of detractors

CHAPTER XXIX - How when tribulation cometh we must call upon and bless God

CHAPTER XXX - Of seeking divine help, and the confidence of obtaining grace

CHAPTER XXXI - Of the neglect of every creature, that the Creator may be found

CHAPTER XXXII - Of self-denial and the casting away all selfishness

CHAPTER XXXIII - Of instability of the heart, and of directing the aim towards God

CHAPTER XXXIV - That to him who loveth God is sweet above all things and in all things

CHAPTER XXXV - That there is no security against temptation in this life

CHAPTER XXXVI - Against vain judgments of men

CHAPTER XXXVII - Of pure and entire resignation of self, for the obtaining liberty of heart

CHAPTER XXXVIII - Of a good government in external things, and of having recourse to God in dangers

CHAPTER XXXIX - That man must not be immersed in business

CHAPTER XL - That man hath no good in himself, and nothing whereof to glory

CHAPTER XLI - Of contempt of all temporal honour

CHAPTER XLII - That our peace is not to be placed in men

CHAPTER XLIII - Against vain and worldly knowledge

CHAPTER XLIV - Of not troubling ourselves about outward things

CHAPTER XLV - That we must not believe everyone, and that we are prone to fall in our words

CHAPTER XLVI - Of having confidence in God when evil words are cast at us

CHAPTER XLVII - That all troubles are to be endured for the sake of eternal life

CHAPTER XLVIII - Of the day of eternity and of the straitnesses of this life

CHAPTER XLIX - Of the desire after eternal life, and how great blessings are promised to those who strive

CHAPTER L - How a desolate man ought to commit himself into the hands of God

CHAPTER LI - That we must give ourselves to humble works when we are unequal to those that are lofty

CHAPTER LII - That a man ought not to reckon himself worthy of consolation, but more worthy of chastisement

CHAPTER LIII - That the Grace of God doth not join itself to those who mind earthly things

CHAPTER LIV - Of the diverse motions of Nature and of Grace

CHAPTER LV - Of the corruption of Nature and the efficacy of Divine Grace

CHAPTER LVI - That we ought to deny ourselves, and to imitate Christ by means of the Cross

CHAPTER LVII - That a man must not be too much cast down when he falleth into some faults

CHAPTER LVIII - Of deeper matters, and God's hidden judgments which are not to be inquired into

CHAPTER LIX - That all hope and trust is to be fixed in God alone


CHAPTER I - A devout exhortation to the Holy Communion

CHAPTER II - That the greatness and charity of God is shown to men in the Sacrament

CHAPTER III - That it is profitable to Communicate often

CHAPTER IV - That many good gifts are bestowed upon those who Communicate devoutly

CHAPTER V - Of the dignity of this Sacrament, and of the office of the priest

CHAPTER VI - An inquiry concerning preparation for Communion

CHAPTER VII - Of the examination of conscience, and purpose of amendment

CHAPTER VIII - Of the oblation of Christ upon the cross, and of resignation of self

CHAPTER IX - That we ought to offer ourselves and all that is ours to God, and to pray for all

CHAPTER X - That Holy Communion is not lightly to be omitted

CHAPTER XI - That the Body and Blood of Christ and the Holy Scriptures are most necessary to a faithful soul

CHAPTER XII - That he who is about to Communicate with Christ ought to prepare himself with great diligence

CHAPTER XIII - That the devout soul ought with the whole heart to yearn after union with Christ in the Sacrament

CHAPTER XIV - Of the fervent desire of certain devout persons to receive the Body and Blood of Christ

CHAPTER XV - That the grace of devotion is acquired by humility and self-denial

CHAPTER XVI - That we ought to lay open our necessities to Christ and to require His Grace

CHAPTER XVII - Of fervent love and vehement desire of receiving Christ

CHAPTER XVIII - That a man should not be a curious searcher of the Sacrament, but a humb