WALTER HILTON The Book of Margery Kempe, chapter 58 

Very little is known about the life of Walter Hilton (d. 1396), except that he was a member of an Augustinian religious order located in Nottinghamshire, England. He is believed to have been the head of this house. Hilton is the author of The Scale of Perfection, a spiritual guidebook that was widely read during the 15th century. The Scale of Perfection focuses on the idea that the soul must be purified of sin and vices before it can achieve union with God. Hilton also rejects the idea of living the secluded life of hermit, in favor of an active life mixed with contemplation. He stresses the idea that anyone can become closer to God if they are only willing to try. His inclusive book and warm personality made Hilton an extremely popular figure during the Middle Ages. 

SOURCES: Milosh, Joseph E. The Scale of Perfection and the English Mystical Tradition. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1966.  See on-line text from Christian Classics Ethereal Library and  Walter Hilton from The Catholic Encyclopedia Online 

Excerpts from The Scale of Perfection: The Scale of Perfection and the English Mystical Tradition, ed. Joseph E. Milosh (1966, pp. 29, 143) 

Contemplative life lieth in perfect love and charity felt inwardly by ghostly virtues, and by soothfast knowing and sight of God and ghostly things. This life belongeth specially to them which forsake for the love of God all worldly riches, worships and outward businesses and wholly give them body and soul up, their mights and their cunning, to service of God by ghostly occupation. Now then, since it is so that they state asketh for to be contemplative, for that is the end and the intent of thine enclosing, that though mightest more freely and entirely give thee to ghostly occupation: then behoveth thee for to be right busy night and day… (I, iii, p.5) 

And this may not be done by one manner of work, but by divers works and many, after sundry dispositions of men. As now praying, now thinking, now working some good work, now assaying himself in diverse wises; in hunger, in thirst, in cold, in suffering of shame and despite if need be, and in other bodily distresses for love of virtue and soothfastness. This knowest thou well, for this readest thou in every book that teacheth of good living. (II, xx, p. 298)

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