Melchior Lechter’s frontispiece, title page, and first chapter title page for a 1922 edition of Thomas à Kempis’s Imitation of Christ. Written in the early 15th century, the work promotes piety, simplicity, and devotion as the key to a personal connection to God.
This is the greatest wisdom: to seek the kingdom of heaven through contempt of the world. It is vanity, therefore, to seek and trust in riches that perish. It is vanity also to court honor and to be puffed up with pride. It is vanity to follow the lusts of the body and to desire things for which severe punishment later must come. It is vanity to wish for long life and to care little about a well-spent life. It is vanity to be concerned with the present only and not to make provision for things to come.It is vanity to love what passes quickly and not to look ahead where eternal joy abides.