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To Increase Humility

1. Confess your sins to God often, and consider what all that evil amounts to, which you then charge upon yourself. Do not look at them as scattered at large distances in the course of a long life, but unite them into one continued representation. If all our sins and follies were heaped against us, we would certainly appear vicious and miserable. Possibly this exercise really applied to your spirit may prove useful.

2. Remember that we usually criticize others on slight grounds and for little cause, and that one fly is enough to spoil the ointment as far as they are concerned. Since we are so severe to others, let us consider that whatever good they can think or say of us, we can tell them of hundreds of base, and unworthy, and foolish acts, any one of which were enough to destroy someone else’s reputation. So let them destroy our over-high opinions of ourselves. . .

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Jeremy Taylor

Jeremy Taylor, Chaplain, (1613-1667) served as chaplain to King Charles I, and was imprisoned at least twice by Cromwellian authorities. Holy Living was written in the year after the execution of Charles I, and later became an early influence in the life of John Wesley. The book has been published repeatedly over the years; this version’s language has been modernized for easier access by present-day readers.


Notice: This material is made available for limited use to participants of the C.S. Lewis Institute Fellows programs. Please do not reproduce any of the materials in the Fellows Resources other than for your personal use.

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