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Santa Teresa an Appreciation: with some of the best passages of the Saint's Writings   By: (1515-1582)

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Santa Teresa: an Appreciation

With some of the best passages of the Saint's Writings Selected Adapted and Arranged by Alexander Whyte D.D.

Oliphant Anderson & Ferrier Saint Mary Street , Edinburgh , and 21 Paternoster Square , London 1900

Third Edition Completing 6000 copies

Edinburgh: T. and A. CONSTABLE, Printers to her Majesty


With a view to the work of my classes this session, I took old Abraham Woodhead's two black letter quartos with me to the Engadine last July. And I spent every rainy morning and every tired evening of that memorable holiday month in the society of Santa Teresa and her excellent old English translator. Till, ever, as I crossed the Morteratch and the Roseg, and climbed the hills around Maloggia and Pontresina, a voice would come after me, saying to me, Why should you not share all this spiritual profit and intellectual delight with your Sabbath evening congregations, and with your young men's and young women's classes? Why should you not introduce Santa Teresa to her daughters in Edinburgh? For her daughters they are, so soon and as long as they live in self knowledge and in self denial, in humility and in meekness, and especially in unceasing prayer for themselves and for others. And I am not without some assurance that in this present lecture I am both hearing and obeying one of those same locutions that Teresa heard so frequently, and obeyed with such instancy and fidelity and fruitfulness.

Luther was born in 1483, and he nailed his ninety five theses to the door of the University Church of Wittenberg on the 31st October 1517. Loyola was born in 1491, and Xavier in 1506, and the Society of Jesus was established in 1534. Isabella the Catholic was born in 1451, and our own Protestant Elizabeth in 1533. The Spanish Inquisition began to sit in 1483, the Breviary was finally settled in 1568, and the Armada was destroyed in 1588. Columbus was born in 1446, and he set out on his great enterprise in 1492. Cervantes was born in 1547, and the First Part of his immortal work was published in 1605. And it is to be read in Santa Teresa's Breviary to this day that Teresa the Sinner was born on the 29th day of March 1515, at five o'clock in the morning. She died in 1582, and in 1622 she was publicly canonised at Rome along with Loyola and Xavier and two other Spanish saints.

Teresa was greatly blessed in both her parents. 'It helped me much that I never saw my father or my mother respect anything in any one but goodness.' Her father was a great reader of the best books, and he took great pains that his children should form the same happy habit and should carefully cultivate the same excellent taste. Her mother, while a Christian gentlewoman of the first social standing, did not share her husband's love of serious literature. She passed far too much of her short lifetime among the romances of the day, till her daughter has to confess that she took no little harm from the books that did her mother no harm but pastime to read. As for other things, her father's house was a perfect model of the very best morals and the very best manners. Alonso de Cepeda was a well born and a well bred Spanish gentleman. He came of an ancient and an illustrious Castilian stock; and, though not a rich man, his household enjoyed all the nobility of breeding and all the culture of mind and all the refinement of taste for which Spain was so famous in that great age. All her days, and in all her ups and downs in life, we continually trace back to Teresa's noble birth and noble upbringing no little of her supreme stateliness of deportment and serenity of manner and chivalry of character. Teresa was a perfect Spanish lady, as well as a mother in Israel, and no one who ever conversed with her could for a moment fail to observe that the oldest and best blood of Spain mantled in her cheek and shone in her eye... Continue reading book >>

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