London and Edinburgh: T.C. & E.C. Jack, . Original gilt-strap decorated purple cloth (5 3/8 inches tall), illustrated endpapers, top edge gilt, uncut. Gentle toning to spine, faint foxing to endpapers. Near-fine. Item #1019
"WE MUST LOVE WHAT GOD LOVES" Lovely study of Saint Francis de Sales—a "Library of the Soul" edition illustrated with a frontispiece portrait and a decorative title page by Paul Woodroffe. A pillar of the Church during the Catholic Reformation, Francis's Introduction to the Devout Life is a classic of Catholic spirituality: "Anyone who reads the Introduction to the Devout Life will have no difficulty in understanding its great and continuing influence. It provides the foundation for one of the recognized systems of spiritual direction in the Roman Church. In all Christian bodies, thousands have found, and still find, that this book of religious counsel is sane, wise, deeply perceptive, and unfailingly helpful" (Frank Magill). Edited by the Anglican clergyman Sabine Baring-Gould, a prolific editor and author, the book is divided into halves: a biographical section is followed by "Extracts," a series of titled meditations from his writings.
The gentleness of Francis's pastoral and missionary efforts "expounded a message of love and moderation that had enormous effect in reestablishing the vitality and credibility of the Church. The only complaint against his methods came from rigorist critics who charged that he made it appear all too easy to become a saint" (Robert Ellsberg). A Doctor of the Church, Francis de Sales was named the Patron Saint of Writers by Pope Pius XI in 1923. A series of handbook studies of the Lives of the Saints, the Library of the Soul also included volumes on John Henry Newman, Thomas a Kempis, Saint Augustine of Hippo, and Saint Teresa. Printed by Charles Whittington and Co. at the Chiswick Press and bound in gilt-strapped decorated boards with lovely Art Nouveau style illustrated endpapers. Robert Ellsberg. All Saints: Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time. Magill, Masterpieces of Christian Literature.