Editorial Notes This electronic edition of 'The Twelve Degrees of Humility and Pride' has been prepared from the 1929 translation by Barton R. V. Mills, M. A



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CHAPTER XX
Eleventh degree -- Freedom to sin. (The opposite of the second degree of humility -- Forbearance to press personal desire. )
So after the tenth degree -- which has been described as 'rebellion' the man is at once caught in the eleventh. He then enters those paths which are attractive to men, at the end of which (unless God shall perchance have interposed some barrier for his protection) he will be plunged into the nethermost hell -- that is into contempt of God. For the wicked man when he is come into the depth of evils, contemneth. (1) The eleventh degree may be called freedom to sin, since in it a monk, who sees that he has now neither a ruler to fear nor brethren to respect, can safely and freely give full play to his own desires, which shame as well as fear prevented him from doing while in the monastery. But although he no longer dreads his brethren or his Abbot, he has not yet lost all awe of God. Reason, some faint echo of which still remains, places this check upon his inclination, and it is not without some hesitation that he enters on his sinful course, and, like a man who is trying to ford a stream, steps rather than runs into the torrent of vice.
1. Prov. xviii. 3 (Old Latin).




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