Cruise, Thomas a Kempis (1887).
The classical edition of the works of Thomas a Kempis by Sommalius - Thomas Malleoli a Kempis opera omnia (3 vols.
It had been founded by Gerhard Groot, a wealthy burgher who had been won to pious living mainly through the influence of Ruysbroeck the Flemish mystic. It was at Deventer, in the midst of this mystical theology and hearty practical benevolence, that Thomas a Kempis was trained.
Cruise, entitled Outline of the Life of Thomas a Kempis (1904), contains substantially all that is known concerning him.
There is no sign that Tauler, for example, or Ruysbroeck, or Thomas a Kempis had felt the dogmatic teaching of the Church jar in any single point upon their religious consciousness.
He reached the conclusion that the religious friend who directed Wesley's attention to the writings of Thomas a Kempis and Jeremy Taylor, in 1725, was Miss Betty Kirkham, whose father was rector of Stanton in Gloucestershire.
The first house of the Brethren was founded at Deventer by Gerhard Groot and his youthful friend Florentius Radewyn; and here Thomas a Kempis received his training.