idered necessary. Their declared purpose was only to make contemplation easier; and they were never looked upon as essential to the monastic profession, but only as helps to its better working. Among these safeguards of monastic peace was included the removal of all anxieties concerning material well-being. Personal poverty--that is, the surrender of all personal claim to things the care of which might break in upon the fixed contemplation of God--was regarded as equally important for this purpose as obedience, chastity, and the continued residence in a certain spot. It had indeed been preached as a counsel of perfection by Christ Himself in His advice to the rich young man, and its significance was now very powerfully set forth by the Benedictine and other monastic establishments.
It is obvious that the existence of institutions of this kind was bound to exercise an influence upon Christian thought. It could not but be noticed that certain individual characters, many of whom claimed the respect of the
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