Radiancy of thought which carried him beyond the common life without raising him to any artificial height, for his humility and charity were not less conspicuous than his piety.
The members took no vows and were free to leave when they chose; but so long as they remained they were bound to observe chastity, to practise personal poverty, putting all their money and earnings into the common fund, to obey the rules of the house and the commands of the rector, and to exercise themselves in self-denial, humility and piety.
In compliance with the pope's desire, he lived in great splendour; yet his own temperance and humility were never brought into question.
He wrote a chronicle of the monastery and several biographies - the life of Gerhard Groot, of Florentius Radewyn, of a Flemish lady St Louise, of Groot's original disciples; a number of tracts on the monastic life - The Monk's Alphabet, The Discipline of Cloisters, A Dialogue of Novices, The Life of the Good Monk, The Monk's Epitaph, Sermons to Novices, Sermons to Monks, The Solitary Life, On Silence, On Poverty, Humility and Patience; two tracts for young people - A Manual of Doctrine for the Young, and A Manual for Children; and books for edification - On True Compunction, The Garden of Roses, The Valley of Lilies, The Consolation of the Poor and the Sick, The Faithful Dispenser, The Soul's Soliloquy, The Hospital of the Poor.
Though he is wanting in moderation and in luminous warmth, his tones are by no means always harsh; and as an author he ever aspired with longing after humility and love and patience, though his whole life was lived in the atmosphere of conflict.
Notwithstanding much cant and hypocrisy--chaff which I find it difficult to separate from my wheat, but for which I am as sorry as any man--I will breathe freely and stretch myself in this respect, it is such a relief to both the moral and physical system; and I am resolved that I will not through humility become the devil's attorney.
But with this idea he fused another, namely, that it is the task of the monk to imitate the humility and poverty of Jesus; and his order thus became a mendicant order.
While the doctrine of election magnified God's grace, and so encouraged humility in man, it minimized man's freedom, and so produced either an over-confidence in those who believed themselves elect, or despair in those who could not reach the assurance.
There was a corporeal humility in looking up at him; and a white man standing before him seemed a white flag come to beg truce of a fortress.
Which we have already noticed; while the deeper humility that represses the claim of personal merit even in the saint belongs to the strict self-examination, the continual sense of imperfection, the utter reliance on strength not his own, which characterize the inner moral life of the Christian.