The Devotions of St. Anselm

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THE life of Saint Anselm is well known. It belongs to the history of England. By nature a recluse and a thinker, he was called upon to play an active part in political life under circumstances of great difficulty. In the midst of these he bore himself with a conscientious up rightness, a quiet dignity and a persistency in the refusal to sacrifice principle to expediency which justified those who called him against his will to the throne of Canterbury: but his heart was elsewhere, in that passionate search for the innermost meaning of his religious belief, of which the history of the Church affords no more striking example than his. The quarrels about investitures, about the relations of Church and State, of Pope and King, which distracted his outward life in his later years, have left no trace in his writings. In a selection from these, intended to form part of a Library of Devotion, we need not dwell long upon them.