This is his great glory, that so vast a multitude of his scholars speak well of him, so many illustrious Clerks praise him, so devout a company of monks still remember his name.
All things were well at Zwolle beneath his rule; they of the world were not at enmity with the scholars, the devout might serve God freely where they would, the Religious were under good supervision, and Priests of honest life were accepted of the citizens.
They who governed the people feared God and were endowed with wisdom and riches; moreover, amongst them were many learned magistrates who had been of old disciples of John, and as was fitting, they ever held him in love and reverence. He had collected many books for his own use, both of philosophy and divinity, and he directed that after his death these should be distributed for pious uses; for some he left as a pious bequest, and for the good of his own soul, to churches, some to monasteries, and some to the poor. So this is that revered and justly praised Master John Cele, a native of the town of Zwolle, a man well taught, learned, not puffed up by knowledge, sober, chaste, humble, and devout.
Once he had gone to the country of Brabant with the venerable Master Gerard Groote to see face to face that man most dear to God, John Ruesbroeck, one that was illustrious for his life and doctrine, for he had known him from afar, since his fame was noised abroad, and this journey he made out of love for his devout and holy life. John Ruesbroeck received them both in fatherly wise, and after a few days they returned to their own habitation, greatly refreshed by the words of his mouth and by his living example. This is more fully set forth in the book of the life of that memorable Father. From this time forth the flame of brotherly love burned yet more vehemently in the heart of each, and, indeed, John Cele did wondrously love Gerard from the very beginning of his preaching, ever holding him dear, and a man of one heart with him in Christ, one that did treat well of the Word of God before the people, showed a pattern of life in his own conduct, and was very fervent in his zeal for souls. For this reason Master John bore the reproach of men and much evil speaking from the froward, who never fail so to entreat them that do well; and this befell him because he encouraged and praised the acts of the Master and the glorious words of his preaching, yet was he not overcome by the snarls of envious folk, nor ceased greatly to extol Gerard, but before the magistrates and the people he spake freely on behalf of the Religious. To him did Gerard address certain friendly letters, and John, who loved the Master’s words with all his heart, did collect the whole number of his epistles, because of his delight in reading them. Likewise he did often mention the venerable Master by name to his scholars, as one whom he knew well, and in his own pleasant voice did recount his deeds for an example to them. This is the end of the life of John, that faithful servant of Christ Jesus, to whom may God grant to enjoy the glory of heaven with all the saints. His body was buried at Windesem, in the ancient cloister, near the door of the church.