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THE MESSAGE OF MAN

Inquire not who spoke this or that, but attend to what is spoken

It is in thy power to fan these thoughts into a continuous flame

If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them

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LONDON
SWAN SONNENSCHEIN & CO.
NEW YORK: MACMILLAN & CO.

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PREFACE

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The thought has occurred to many a reader,-although research does not confirm it,—that the De Imitatione Christi is not the product of one man's brain and pen, but that some pious compiler, for his own soul's need, sifted the Christian sands of his time and gathered up a little measure-full of the grains of gold. It

to have been written by a man of no great originality save in self-obliteration,-a man whose wants and capacities were like everyone else's, so that what appeared rare and beautiful to him has seemed the same to many since.

To-day we still read the writings of long-past ages, for our higher self's sake.

But they are now for us only the sands, and each one as he reads sifts for himself and gathers out the gold-dust. Haply one who has so done is not acting amiss in offering his labour's yield to the public, for perchance it may prove precious to many.

But when, with no solicitude except to be faith

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