of the Soule:
the Holy and Most Reverend
Tranſlated by a Dame of our Ladies
of comfort of the order of S. Bennet
Imprinted at Douay
By Gheerart Pinson, under
the ſignne of Cuelen, 1632.
Christian and Religious Reader.
If in peruſeing this translated treateſe of ſoūund doctrine and ſolide documents, thou meet with ſome faults (as thou will doe, with many, both in the translation & impreſsion) know that the printer was a Wallon, who underſtood nothing at all Engliſh; and the tranſlatreſſe a woman, that had not much skille in the Frenche, but why did shee then undertake it? wilt thou ſay; truely for her private imployment & inſtruction; never intending more then the uſe of a particular cloiſter; though God and her ſuperiours have otherwiſe diſpoſed of it, & expoſed it to the publicrk view of the world, ã2 as thou 4 ã2v as thou ſeest.
Sure I am, and can aſſure the of three things. Firſt, that if thou have the ſpirit of the authour or the matter, thou will interprete & pardon all frindly, freely, & fully. Next, That if thou finde as much profit in the peruſall of it, as she did that tranſlated it, thou wilt bleſse God, & pray for her.
Thirdly, that if it could bee as welcome & welliked in English, as it was and is ſtill in Frenche, the printer will not looſe his pains in printing it, nor you in peruſing it: for ſince the late death of this famous Prelat & pillar in Gods Church (who was one of the most clear, diſcreet, ſweet & devout ſpirits of our age;) it hath been published in diverſe editions; and is still exceedingly praiſed, prized, & practiced; not onely by Religious perſons, but alſo by the beſt ſeculars, eſpecially of the devout ſexe:
For although all bee not religious, nor bound to bee ſo perfect as religious are; yett all are bound to labour for the perfection of christian & ſolide vertues, ſuch as are humility of heart, poverty of ſpiritt, purity of intention 5 ã3r intention, ſimplicity of affection, conformity of will, custodie of heart, naked charity, & filiall confidence, together with a generoſity of reſolution to pleaſe and love God above all, to all wich and much more this little booke leadeth the by a short, ſweet, & ſecure way.
If thou like & love not the Introduction to a Devout Life, compoſed by the ſame Byshop, I should call thy devotion into queſtion; if thou approove and applaud it (as all truely devout doe) thou shall find that this after-borne fruict is but as it were a ſupplement, or explication thereof in a moſt plaine & perfect manner, deſcending to particulars in the obtaimning of vertues, and mortification of vices: If ſome things bee peculiar to Religious perſons, either leave ſuch for them; or apply to thy ſelf with ſome little chaunge: all meats are not for all ſtomakes, nor all Doctrines for all diſpoſitions; peruse all, practize ſome, pray for the tranſlatreſſe, & praiſe God in all.
If any illwillers of Catholike religion, & ill wishers of a religious vocation come to the view of this booke; they may ſee the lives; flawed-reproductionapproximately 3 lettersles, vertues, & cuſtomes, of Religious familiesã3 milies 6 ã3v milies diſcipherered without paſſion or partiality, & admire with what charity, diſcretion, devotion, & humility they paſſe over the pilgrimage of this mortall & miſerable life, ſighing after, and ſufferniing for eternity: & ſo leave to detract & deride at that which they cannot comprehend, much leſſe imitate; And if perchaunce ſome ſcandals arrive amongst them by the meanes of ſome wolves or foxes in sheep-skins, I meane by ſome falſe brethren & Apoſtates, it is not to be attributed to the Orders & ordination of holy Church or Religious institution, but to the malice of ſSatan and humane frailtie, for never yett ſince the Church began, was it free from ſcandals, and falſe brethren & Apoſtates nor never will it be untill the worlds end yett curſed are they that voluntarily blow & kindle the fire of faction or diviſion in the houſ of God, or that adde fewell unto flawed-reproduction1 word continew it, & bleſſed are the peaceable, humble, and innocent ſpirits that are proovd & purified ther-in.
For concluſion; I dare boldly ſay,that whoſoever will follow really & cordially the ſpirit of this Author & booke, hee shall live in peace with God, with his neighbors 7 ã4r & with himſelfe: he shall taſt upon earth how ſweet God is in heaven, he shall lead a true Evangelicall or rather Angelicall life, he shall begin his heaven upon earth, & ſayle ſecure, immoveable, quiet, & content through all the chaunges & chaunces, ſtormes & tempeſtes of this wavering world, Jeſus being his Pilot, hope his ancre, faith his light, ſolitude his cabinet, prayer his proviſion, humility his haven, heaven his home: farewell.
Live Lord Jesus in Our soules.