Tag Archives: Thomas a Kempis

Another Imitation ..but it’s good!

Yes, here’s  ANOTHER Imitation – “The Imitation of Christ” by Thomas á Kempis that is!  

It has to be one of the most popular devotional books ever written, and here we offer a second version for free download – this time, a beautiful facsimile of the 1881 edition. Thomas á Kempis’ lived a long life straddling the 14th and 15tth centuries, and was a monk and priest, and his work is a genuine Christian Classic.

To complement this work I am also making available a 19th century essay about “The Imitation” by Brother Azarias. This is part of a larger work, and don’t worry, I will be uploading the entire 1893 edition of the work shortly (details below).

Finally for now, ANOTHER digital version of “My Daily Bread” – which we first made avaliable just before Easter this year! Happy downloading! -Brother John


new2image “Of The Imitation of Christ” – Thomas á Kempis (1881) Facsimile Edition

In many ways, the older language in this 19th century version (we already have a newer 1940 Edition in the library) speaks in a less hurried tone, which some of us may prefer.

new2image “Spiritual Sense and the Imitation” – Brother Azarias (1892)

‘Spiritual Sense and the Imitation’ is an essay on The Imitation of Christ, and is Chapter 8 of a larger volume by Brother Azarias, entiled “Phases of Thought and Criticism.” We will shortly be adding the entire 2nd edition (1893) edition of this work to our library here.

new2image “My Daily Bread” – A. J.Paone (1953) Facsimile Edition

A daily meditation. If you like “The Imitation of Christ” you’ll love this book too! This is the 2nd digital version of this important work on the spirutal life. The text of both is the same, but I for one prefer the formating of this one. Now that we have written copyright clearance, we are happy to offer this, our personal favorite gem!  – Click here to view or download the alternative copy of “My Daily Bread”

John Ruffle
John Ruffle

“The Imitation of Christ” – Alternative Versions

We’ve already got a PDF of The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis, but here’s an alternative version of the same translation by Aloysius Croft and Harold Bolton.

I have found “The Imitation” a wonderful devotional daily read to complement (not replace) the reading of Sacred Scripture, and I highly recommend it!

Click to view or DOWNLOAD FREE PDF: The Imitation of Christ


From the Foreword:

“IN PREPARING this edition of The Imitation of Christ, the aim was to achieve a simple, readable text which would ring true to those who are already lovers of this incomparable book and would attract others to it. For this reason we have attempted to render the text into English as it is spoken today rather than the cloudy, archaic terminology that encumbers so many translations of Christian classics. The result, we feel, has achieved a directness and conciseness which will meet the approval of modern readers. In the second place, we have made use of the familiar paragraph form, doing away with the simple statement or verse form of the original and of many translations. This was done in the interest of easier reading, and in order to bring out more clearly the connection between the single statements.”


A note about the text:

The Imitation of Christ (De Imitatione Christi) by Thomas à Kempis was written in Latin circa 1418-1427. The Imitation is perhaps the most widely read devotional work next to the Bible and is regarded as a devotional and religious classic. Apart from the Bible, no book has been translated into more languages than the Imitation of Christ. The text is divided into four books, which provide detailed spiritual instructions: “Helpful Counsels of the Spiritual Life”, “Directives for the Interior Life”, “On Interior Consolation” and “On the Blessed Sacrament”. The approach taken in the Imitation is characterized by its emphasis on the interior life and withdrawal from the world, as opposed to an active imitation of Christ by other friars.”

Source: Wikipedia – Imitation of Christ

View or DOWNLOAD FREE PDF: The Imitation of Christ (NEW upload) 

View or DOWNLOAD FREE PDF : The Imitation (Previous Version)


John Ruffle, Curator/Founder

Also, I had hoped to post a free downloadable TEXT version translated by William Benham. The advantage of a text version is that you can copy direct into MS Word and create your own format for a printable version for daily reading if you wish. At present, a technical difficulty will not allow me to upload this.

In due course, I hope to make an original scan of a Victorian version in our possession, when time permits. We are most thankful to have an edge-scanner, which is specifically designed to scan bound books. We have yet to try it out, however! When we do, “The Imitation” will be first up. My goal is to make our Library the first choice for those wishing to view alternate texts of The Imitation of Christ. Remember, all PDFs are FREE and you do NOT need to register to download. We are a not-for-profit resource for the promotion of the Biblically-based knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. -John Ruffle, curator/founder.