One of the most important figures of the 16th century, Desiderius Erasmus was a leading reformist and Renaissance humanist. Through his works and letters. A book called in Latin Enchiridion militis Christiani, and in English The manual of the Christian knight. by Erasmus, Desiderius, d. Originally published as part of: Lucubratiunculae, Antwerp, First published separately Leipzig,

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Fools also be wretches and unhappy. Only voluptuousness is abhorred in sacerdotes.

Handbook of a Christian Knight – Wikipedia

Walk saith Paul in the spirit, and ye shall not accomplish the desires and lusts of the flesh, for the flesh desireth contrary to the spirit, and the spirit contrary to the flesh, that ye cannot do whatsoever things ye would. The charitable living of monks. The soul to die, because no man seeth and few believeth, therefore very few fear it. Last of all underneath, the slippery serpent, the first breaker of peace Enemies of Hell.

Therefore seeing that thou hast taken upon thee war against thyself, and the chief hope and comfort of victory is if thou know thyself to the uttermost, I will paint a certain image of thyself, as it were in a table, and set it before thine eyes that thou mayst perfectly know what thou art inwardly and within thy skin.

Handbook of a Christian Knight | work by Erasmus |

In time of baptism we profess with protestation to fight ever under the standard of Christ. The first man was made into a living soul. Grossness of mind, lack of activity, sluggishness of body, and to be given to much sleep, followeth the phlegmatic man. If that seem bitter, if thy mind rise against it, why doubtest thou yet but that the mouth of the soul is out of taste, and infected with some disease?

Charibdis is a swallow or whirlpool in the same sea. But if we compare those which be good of the one sort with those that be good of the other there is little difference, if there be any at all, saving that those appear to be more religious that keep their religion and duty with less coercion.

Therefore that bread loathed at once, thou must make as good speed as can be unto manna of celestial wisdom the which shall nourish thee abundantly and strengthen thee until thou obtain thy purpose, and win by victory the reward that never shall cease: And it is not spoken without reason that those weapons be not forged in the workhouse of man, but in the workhouse or forge that is common to Vulcan and Pallas, otherwise called Mynerva.

Afterward Esau being a-hungered sold to Jacob his inheritance for a mess of pottage, when Isaac was old he bad Esau to kill some venison: And this same thing certainly is also the body of death, wherewith Paul aggrieved cried out: Nor Christ did not die for this purpose that goods of the world, that riches, that armour, and the rest of ruffling fashion of the world, be now in the hands and rule of certain priests, which things were wont to be in the hands of the gentiles, or at least amongst lay princes, not much differing from gentiles.


Erasmus Enchiridion Militis Christiani, an English Version

Saint Paul doth in many things suffer and pardon the Corynthyans, but in the mean season putting difference between those things which he did proffer in the name of his Lord unto them that were perfect, and those things which he did pardon that were written in his own name to them that were yet weak and young in Christ: How many volumes have they made of restitution, of confession, of slander, and other things innumerable?

It fortuneth now and then that nature, as it were to make amends, recompenseth one disease or sickness of the mind An ill disease of the mind is sometimes recompensed with another good gift in property.

The noble warrior David refreshed and made strong with these cates, set nought by the whole host of his adversaries, saying, Oh good Lord thou hast set a table of meat before me to defend me against all men that trouble me.

And yet for all that I do not greatly pity my friend, because that peradventure adversity of fortune may teach him once to repent himself, and to amend, seeing that he would not follow and do after my counsel and admonitions.

There be almost as many commentaries upon the Master of the Sentence as be names enchiirdion divines. And also of the other part there be certain things Edition: Old earthly Adam betokeneth appetites or affections. In conclusion when every man hath done that he can, let him not be like unto the Pharisey whom the Gospel maketh mention of, which doth boast his good deeds unto God saying: And Paul despiseth not them which say psalms with their mouth which speaketh with tongues that thing they understand not: Articles with short description Articles containing Latin-language text All stub articles.

And there can be nothing so circumspectly spoken, but that thereof lewd and evil persons do take occasion either of quarrelling or else of sinning: And in the third cgristiani must all the common people be, as the most gross part of all this world, but not yet so gross but that they pertain unto the mystical body of Christ: Nothing is more hard than that enchirdiion man should overcome himself.

Peripatetics teach the affections not to be destroyed utterly, but to be refrained, and that the use of them is not utterly to be refused, for because they think them to be given of nature, as a prick or a spur to stir a man to virtue: And therefore ought they to obey the officers and rulers, and bear no rule nor office themselves.


Let the vices which draw near unto virtues be corrected. Albeit, most virtuous father, that the christiaji book, to the which I have given this name or title Enchiridion militis christiani, which many a day ago I made for myself only, and for a certain friend of mine being utterly unlearned, hath begun to mislike and displease me the less, forasmuch as I do see that it is allowed of you and other virtuous and learned men such as you be, of whom as ye are indeed endued with godly learning, and also with learned godliness I know nothing to be approved, but that which is both holy and also clerkly: Nor he doth not speak against their majesty, wherein they glory, which doth shew in what things their very majesty doth consist, which also doth put them in remembrance whereto they were sworn when they took their authority, what is their duty unto their people, and what they ought to do unto their officers.

Peace, peace, and yet there enchiridiin no peace at all.

In that it is small or little in quantity, is signified the humility, lowliness or homeliness of the style under rude words including great mystery. For holy Basilius to such pastime exhorteth young men, whom he himself had induced to the conversation of christian men. Our king Reason chdistiani be oppressed verily We ought to live after reason and not enchoridion affections. But again there is another thing which oftentimes grieveth me in my mind, that a certain well learned friend of cnristiani long ago said, very properly and sharply checking me, that there was more holiness seen in the little book than in the whole author and maker thereof.

The proverb this wise sprang. But then the Philistyans did scold and chide, yet he did not cease from digging.

Handbook of a Christian Knight

One man is somewhat prone or inclined echiridion pleasure of worldly pastimes, but nothing angry, nothing envious at all. Then art thou monished and counselled to approach more near: But and if so be that nature hath endued thee with a gentle mind, thou art not therefore straightway better than another man, but happier, and yet again on that manner wise art thou more happy, so that thou art also more bound.

Envy is a great cause of policy, and in likewise of the other.

And that hath too much of foolish toys, may be a good companion. Doth he then speak against the order of priests which doth shew by what means, and how the bishops may truly be great, mighty, and rich?

These two natures between themselves so diverse, that excellent workman had coupled together with blessed concord: