Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER LVIII: CONCERNING THE DISCIPLINE OF THOSE TO BE RECEIVED AS BRETHREN - The Rule of St. Benedict
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CHAPTER LVIII: CONCERNING THE DISCIPLINE OF THOSE TO BE RECEIVED AS BRETHREN - Saint Benedict, The Rule of St. Benedict 
The Rule of St. Benedict, translated into English. A Pax Book, preface by W.K. Lowther Clarke (London: S.P.C.K., 1931).
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CONCERNING THE DISCIPLINE OF THOSE TO BE RECEIVED AS BRETHREN
In the case of anyone newly come to essay conversion of life, let not an easy entrance be accorded him; but as says the Apostle: “Prove the spirits, whether they are from God.” Therefore if anyone who comes shall have persevered in knocking for admission and after four or five days shall have been found patiently to bear all the injuries inflicted upon him and the difficulty of gaining entrance and shall be found to persist with his petition, let entrance be granted him and let him be in the guests’ house for a few days. After that, let him be in the novices’ cell where he may meditate and eat and sleep. And let there be deputed to take charge of him, a senior, such an one as is well fitted to win souls, to be solicitous for his welfare and to watch with scrupulous care, whether in very truth he seek God and be solicitous as to the Work of God, obedience and humiliations. Let there be set before him all the hard and the rough things through which lies the way to God; and if he shall have given promise of stability and perseverance let this rule be read right through to him after the lapse of two months and let this be said to him: “Behold the law under which thou dost wish to serve as a faithful soldier; if thou art able to keep it, enter; but if thou art not able, depart free.” If thus far he shall have stood firm, then let him be conducted to the aforenamed novices’ cell and be again tested in all patience; and after the lapse of six months let the rule be re-read to him that he may know upon what he is entering: and if thus far he stand firm, after four months let this same rule again be re-read to him: and if, having deliberated of the matter with himself he shall have promised that he will keep it all and observe everything ordered him, then let him be received into the community, knowing himself to be now established by the law of the rule so that it is not lawful for him from that day onwards to go forth from the monastery, nor to shake free his neck from beneath the yoke of the rule which it was permitted him after such prolonged deliberation either to refuse or to accept.
Let him then who is to be received, in the oratory, in the presence of all the brethren, make promise of stability, of conversion of life and of obedience, in the presence of God and of His saints, that if he should ever act otherwise he may know he will be condemned by Him Whom he mocks. And concerning that promise of his let him make petition, calling to witness the saints whose relics are there and the abbot there present: the which petition let him write with his own hand, or at the least, if he is unlettered, let another write it at his request and let him, the novice, make his mark and with his own hand place it upon the altar: and when he shall have placed it there let the novice himself immediately begin this versicle: “O stablish me according to Thy word, that I may live: and let me not be disappointed of my hope”; which versicle let the whole community repeat thrice, adding “Gloria Patri.” Then let him, the novice brother, prostrate at the feet of all that they may pray for him; and from thenceforth let him be accounted one of the community. If he has any property, let him either assign it beforehand to the poor, or else by formal donation confer it upon the monastery, reserving nothing at all for himself, as becomes one who must know that thenceforth he will hold no power even over himself. Forthwith therefore, in the oratory, let him also be stripped of the garments, his own property, with which he is clad and be clothed with such as are the property of the monastery: and let those garments of which he was stripped be put away to be kept in the wardrobe, that if at any time, by suasion of the devil, he should consent to go forth from the monastery, which God forbid, he may then be cast forth unfrocked. Let him not receive back that petition of his which the abbot took from upon the altar, but let it be kept in the monastery.