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.
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 was an ardent student of Tauler and Thomas a Kempis, and became an adherent of the quietistic doctrines of Mme Bourignon.
Kempis, at that time canon of the convent of St Agnes at Zwolle.
The first such community was established at Deventer in the house of Florentius himself (c. 1380); and Thomas a Kempis, who lived in it from 1392 to 1399, has left a description of the manner of life pursued: "They humbly imitated the manner of the Apostolic life, and having one heart and mind in God, brought every man what was his own into the common stock, and receiving simple food and clothing avoided taking thought for the morrow.
The chief authorities are Thomas a Kempis, Lives of Groot and his Disciples and Chronicle of Mount St Agnes (both works translated by J.
Kettlewell, Thomas a Kempis and the Brothers of Common Life (1882) (but see Arthur in the Prefaces to above-named books); for a shorter sketch, F.
Cruise, Thomas a Kempis (1887).
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.
Three miles from Zwolle, on a slight eminence called the Agnietenberg, or hill of St Agnes, once stood the Augustinian convent in which Thomas Kempis spent the greatest part of his life and died in 1471.
The success which followed his labours not only in the town of Utrecht, but also in Zwolle, Deventer, Kampen, Amsterdam, Haarlem, Gouda, Leiden, Delft, Zutphen and elsewhere, was immense; according to Thomas Kempis the people left their business and their meals to hear his sermons, so that the churches could not hold the crowds that flocked together wherever he came.
The chief authority for Groot's life is Thomas a Kempis, Vita Gerardi Magni (translated into English by J.
Kettlewell, Thomas d Kempis and the Brothers of Common Life (1882), i.
Cruise, Thomas a Kempis, 1887, pt.
Of his numerous works the chief are: The Four Books of Thomas d Kempis on the imitation of Christ (Hung., 1603), of which there are many editions; Diatribe theologica de visibili Christi in terris ecclesia (Graz, '6'5); Vindiciae ecclesiasticae (Vienna, 1620); Sermons for every Sunday in the Year (Hung., Pressburg, 1636); The Triumph of Truth (Hung., Pressburg, 1614).
THOMAS A KEMPIS (c. 1380-1471), the name by which the Augustinian canon and writer Thomas Hammerken (Hammerchen, Malleolus) is commonly known.
"Ego Thomas Kempis," he says in his chronicle of the monastery of Mount St Agnes, "scholaris Daventriensis, ex diocesi Coloniensi natus."
Thomas Hammerken was forgotten; Thomas a Kempis has become known to the whole Christian world.
This school at Deventer had become famous long before Thomas a Kempis was admitted to its classes.
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.
The classical edition of the works of Thomas a Kempis by Sommalius - Thomas Malleoli a Kempis opera omnia (3 vols.
The best accounts in English of Thomas a Kempis are those by S.
Cruise, entitled Outline of the Life of Thomas a Kempis (1904), contains substantially all that is known concerning him.
On reaching Petersburg Pierre did not let anyone know of his arrival, he went nowhere and spent whole days in reading Thomas a Kempis, whose book had been sent him by someone unknown.