Silvester Jenks — fled at the Glorious Revolution

Love of God is the total sum of Christianity

A Contrite and Humble Heart, written to battle the arrogance of Jansenism.
  • A Contrite and Humble Heart, written to battle the arrogance of Jansenism.

To make it plainly appear that the love of God above all things is the greatest duty of a Christian, one would think it were enough to show that it is a duty which comprises all our other duties; that it is a total sum of Christianity; and that without the least hyperbole, it is the whole duty of man; because all other precepts whatsoever only are so many branches of this Great Commandment, which is the root of all the rest. If we draw the prospect nigher, we shall find an infinite variety of pressing motives which enforce our obligation. Every single excellence of the object we adore is all divine. No shadow there of any blemish to obscure those charms, which challenge our affection. Nothing in our God but what is infinitely amiable, and deserving infinitely more than all the love that we are able to return.

— from A Contrite and Humble Heart, by Silvester Jenks

Silvester Jenks (c.1656–1714) was an English Catholic theologian and priest. Born in Shropshire, England, Jenks attended the English College in Douai, France, where he also taught as a professor of philosophy. Official court preacher to the Catholic English king, James II, when James was overthrown in the Glorious Revolution of 1688, Jenks fled to Flanders. He is known for having written in opposition to Jansenism, a heresy that emphasized predestination at the expense of human freedom. He also wrote A Contrite and Humble Heart, a work on the importance of humility and the little acts of love necessary to battle the arrogance of Jansenism.

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