Golden Chain 7001
7001 Mc 10,1-12
(p. 193) Bede, In Marcum, 3, 40: Up to this time, Mark hath related what Our Lord said and did in Galilee; here he begins to relate what He did, taught, or suffered in Judaea, and first indeed across the Jordan on the east; and this is what is said in these words: "And He arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts of Judaea, by the farther side of Jordan"; then also on this side Jordan, when He came to Jericho, Bethany, and Jerusalem. And though all the province of the Jews is generally called Judaea, to distinguish it from other nations, more especially, however, its southern portion was called Judaea, to distinguish it from Samaria, Galilee, Decapolis, and the other regions in the same province.
Theophylact: But He enters the region of Judaea, which the envy of the Jews had often caused Him to leave, because His Passion was to take place there. He did not, however, then go up to Jerusalem, but to the confines of Judaea, that He might do good to the multitudes, who were not evil; for Jerusalem was, from the malice of the Jews, the worker of all the wickedness.
Wherefore it goes on: "And the people resort unto Him again, and, as He was wont, He taught them again."
Bede: Mark the difference of temper in the multitude and in the Pharisees. The former meet together, in order to be taught, and that their sick may be healed, as Matthew relates (Mt 19,2); the latter come to Him, to try to deceive their Saviour by tempting Him.
Wherefore there follows: "And the Pharisees came to Him, and asked Him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting Him."
Theophylact: They come to Him indeed, and do not quit Him, lest the multitudes should believe on Him; and by continually coming to Him, they thought to bring Him into difficulty, and to confuse Him by their questions. For they proposed to Him a question, which had on either side a precipice, so that whether He said that it was lawful for a man to put away his wife, or that it was not lawful, they might accuse Him, and contradict what He said, out of the doctrines of Moses. Christ, therefore, being Very Wisdom, in answering their (p. 194) question, avoids their snares.
Chrys., Vict. Ant., Cat. in Marc., and see Chrys. Hom. 62 (note: the same sort of comment is to be found in Origin, in Matt. tom. 14, 17, IIii in Mt 19, Ambr. in Lc 8,9, Op. Imperfecti in loc. Theophyl. in Mt 19): For being asked, whether it is lawful, he does not immediately reply, it is not lawful, lest they should raise an outcry, but He first wished them to answer Him as to the sentence of the law, that they by their answer might furnish Him with what it was right to say.
Wherefore it goes on: "And He answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you?"
And afterwards, "And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away."
They put forward indeed this that Moses had said either on account of the question of our Saviour, or wishing to excite against Him a multitude of men. For divorce was an indifferent thing among the Jews, and all practised it, as though it were permitted by the law.
Augustine, de Con. Evan., ii, 62: It makes nothing, however, to the truth of the fact, whether, as Matthew says, they themselves addressed to the Lord the question concerning the bill of divorcement, allowed to them by Moses, on our Lord's forbidding the separation, and confirming His sentence from the law, or whether it was in answer to a question of His, that they said this concerning the command of Moses, as Mark here says. For His wish was to give them no reason why Moses permitted it, before they themselves had mentioned the fact; since then the wish of the parties speaking, which is what the words ought to express, is in either way shewn, there is no discrepancy, though there be a difference in the way of relating it. It may also be meant that, as Mark expresses it, the question put to them by the Lord, What did Moses command? Mc 10,3, was in answer to those who had previously asked His opinion concerning the putting away of a wife. And when they had replied that Moses permitted them to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away, His answer was concerning that same law, given by Moses, how God instituted the marriage of a male, and a female, saying those things which Matthew relates (Mt 19,4); on hearing which they again rejoined what they had replied to Him when He first asked them, namely - Why then did Moses command?
Augustine, cont. Faust, XIX, 26: Moses, however, was against a man's dismissing his wife, for he interposed this delay, that a person whose mind was bent on separation, might be deterred by the writing of the bill, and desist; particularly, since, as is related, among the Hebrews, no one was allowed to write Hebrew characters but the scribes. The (p. 195) law therefore wished to send him, whom it ordered to give a bill of divorcement, before he dismissed his wife, to them, who ought to be wise interpreters of the law, and just opponents of quarrel. For a bill could only be written for him by men, who by their good advice might overrule him, since his circumstances and necessity had put him into their hands, and so by treating between him and his wife they might persuade them to love and concord.
But if a hatred so great had arisen that it could not be extinguished and corrected, then indeed a bill was to be written, that he might not lightly put away her who was the object of his hate, in such a way as to prevent his being recalled to the love, which he owed her by marriage, through the persuasion of the wise. For this reason it is added, "For the hardness of your heart, he wrote this precept"; for great was the hardness of heart which could not be melted or bent to the taking back and recalling the love of marriage, even by the interposition of a bill in a way which gave room for the just and wise to dissuade them.
Pseudo-Chrys., Cat. in Marc. Oxon: Or else, it is said, "For the hardness of your hearts," because it is possible for a soul purged from desires and from anger to bear the worst of women; but if those passions have a redoubled force over the mind, many evils will arise from hatred in marriage.
Chrys.: Thus then, He saves Moses, who had given the law, from their accusation, and turns the whole upon their head. But since what He had said was grievous to them, He at once brings back the discourse to the old law, saying, "But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female."
Bede: He says not male and females, which the sense would have required had it referred to the divorce of former wives, but "male" and "female", so that they might be bound by the tie of one wife.
Chrys.: If however he had wished one wife to be put away and another to be brought in, He would have created several women. Nor did God only join one woman to one man, but He also bade a man quit his parents and cleave to his wife.
Wherefore it goes on: "And he said, (that is, God, said by Adam) For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife.
From the very mode of speech, shewing the impossibility of severing marriage, because He said, "He shall cleave."
Bede: (p. 196) And in like manner, because He says, he shall cleave to his wife, not wives.
It goes on: "And they twain shall be one flesh."
Chrys.: Being framed out of one root, they will join into one body.
It goes on: "So then they are no more twain, but one flesh."
Bede: The reward then of marriage is of two to become one flesh. Virginity being joined to the Spirit, becomes of one spirit.
Chrys.: After this, bringing forward an awful argument, He said not, do not divide, but He concluded, "What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."
Augustine, cont. Faust, XIX, 29: Behold the Jews are convinced out of the books of Moses, that a wife is not to be put away, while they fancied that in putting her away, they were doing the will of Moses. In like manner from this place, from the witness of Christ Himself, we know this, that God made and joined male and female, for denying which the Manichees are condemned, resisting now not the books of Moses, but the Gospel of Christ.
Bede: What therefore God hath conjoined by making one flesh of a man and a woman, that man cannot separate, but God alone. Man separates, when we dismiss the first wife because we desire a second; but it is God who separates, when by common consent (1Co 7,5), for the sake of serving God, we so have wives as though we had none (1Co 7,29).
Chrys.: But if two persons, whom God has joined together, are not to be separated; much more is it wrong to separate from Christ, the Church, which God has joined to Him.
Theophylact: But the disciples were offended, as not being fully satisfied with what had been said; for this reason they again question Him.
Wherefore there follows: "And in the house, His disciples asked Him again of the same matter."
Pseudo-Jerome: This second question is said to be asked "again" by the Apostles, because it is on the subject of which the Pharisees had asked Him, that is, concerning the state of marriage; and this is said by Mark in his own person.
Gloss: For a repetition of a saying of the Word, produces not weariness, but thirst and hunger.
Wherefore it is said, "They that eat me shall yet be hungry, and they that drink me shall yet be (p. 197) thirsty"; for the tasting of the honied words of wisdom yields all manner of savour to them who love her.
Wherefore the Lord instructs His disciples over again; for it goes on, "And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife and marry another, committeth adultery upon her."
Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant., e Cat. in Marc.: The Lord calls by the name of adultery cohabitation with her who is not a man's wife; she is not, however, a wife, whom a man has taken to him, after quitting the first; and for this reason he commits adultery upon her, that is, upon the second, whom he brings in. And the same thing is true in the case of the woman; wherefore it goes on, "And if a woman shall put away her husband, and marry another, she committeth adultery"; for she cannot be joined to another as her own husband, if she leave him who is really her own husband. The law indeed forbade what was plainly adultery; but the Saviour forbids this, which was neither plain, nor known to all, though it was contrary to nature.
Bede: In Matthew it is more fully expressed, "Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication." (Mt 19,9) The only carnal cause then is fornication; the only spiritual cause is the fear of God, that a man should put away his wife to enter into religion (ed. note: Husbands and wives have never been allowed to take monastic vows without mutual consent, see Bingham, book 7, ch 3; where also are incidentally given many instances of married persons thus giving up the world.), as we read that many have done. But there is no cause allowed by the law of God for marrying another, during the lifetime of her who is quitted.
Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: There is no contrariety in Matthew's relating that He spoke these words to the Pharisees, though Mark says that they were spoken to the disciples; for it is possible that He may have spoken them to both.
7013 Mc 10,13-16
(p. 198) Theophylact: The wickedness of the Pharisees in tempting Christ, has been related above, and now is shewn the great faith of the multitude, who believed that Christ conferred a blessing on the children whom they brought to Him, by the mere laying on of His hands.
Wherefore it is said: "And they brought young children to Him, that He might touch them."
Chrys.: But the disciples, out of regard for the dignity of Christ, forbade those who brought them. And this is what is added: "And His disciples rebuked those who brought them." But our Saviour, in order to teach His disciples to be modest in their ideas, and to tread under foot worldly pride, takes the children to Him, and assigns to them the kingdom of God.
Wherefore it goes on: "And He said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not."
Origin, in Matt., XV, 7: If any of those who profess to hold the office of teaching in the Church should see a person bringing to them some of the foolish of this world, and low born, and weak, who for this reason are called children and infants, let him not forbid the man who offers such an one to the Saviour, as though he were acting without judgment. After this He exhorts those of His disciples who are already grown to full stature to condescend to be useful to children, that they may become to children as children, that they may gain children (1Co 9,22); for He Himself, when He was in the form of God, humbled Himself, and became a child.
One which He adds: "For of such is the kingdom of heaven."
Chrys.: For indeed the mind of a child is pure from all passions, for which reason, we ought by free choice to do those works, which children hate by nature.
Theophylact: Wherefore He says not, "for of" these, but "of such is the kingdom of God," that is, of persons who have both in their intention and their work the harmlessness and simplicity which children have by nature. For a child does not hate, does nothing of evil (p. 199) intent, nor though beaten does he quit his mother; and though she clothe him in vile garments, prefers them to kingly apparel; in like manner he, who lives according to the good ways of his mother the Church, honours nothing before her, nay, not pleasure, which is the queen of many; wherefore also the Lord subjoins, "Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein."
Bede: That is, if ye have not innocence and purity of mind like that of children, ye cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven. Or else, we are ordered to receive the kingdom of God, that is, the doctrine of the Gospel, as a little child, because as a child, when he is taught, does not contradict his teachers, nor put together reasonings and words against them, but receives with faith what they teach, and obeys them with awe, so we also are to receive the word of the Lord with simple obedience, and without any gainsaying.
It goes on: "And He took them up in His arms, put His hands upon them, and blessed them."
Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant, e Cat. in Marc.: Fitly does He take them up into His arms to bless them, as it were, lifting into His own bosom, and reconciling Himself to His creation, which in the beginning fell from Him, and was separated from Him. Again, He puts His hands upon the children, to teach us the working of his divine power; and indeed, He puts His hands upon them, as others are wont to do, though His operation is not as that of others, for though He was God, He kept to human ways of acting, as being very man.
Bede: Having embraced the children, He also blessed them, implying that the lowly in spirit are worthy of His blessing, grace and love.
7017 Mc 10,17-27
(p. 200) Bede: A certain man had heard from the Lord that only they who are willing to be like little children are worthy to enter into the kingdom of heaven, and therefore he desires to have explained to him, not in parables, but openly, by the merits of what works a man may attain everlasting life.
Wherefore it is said: "And when He was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to Him, and asked Him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?"
Theophylact: I wonder at this young man, who when all others come to Christ to be healed of their infirmities, (p. 201) begs of Him the possession of everlasting life, notwithstanding his love of money, the malignant passion which afterwards caused his sorrow.
Chrys., Hom. in Matt., 63: Because however he had come to Christ as he would to a man, and to one of the Jewish doctors, Christ answered him as Man.
Wherefore it goes on: "And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but the One God."
In saying which He does not exclude men from goodness, but from a comparison with the goodness of God.
Bede: But by this one God, Who is good, we must not only understand the Father, but also the Son, who says, "I am the good Shepherd;" (Jn 10,11) and also the Holy Ghost, because it is said, "The Father which is in heaven will give the good Spirit to them that ask him." (Lc 11,13) For the One and Undivided Trinity itself, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, is the Only and One good God. The Lord, therefore, does not deny Himself to be good, but implies that He is God; He does not deny that He is good Master, but He declares that no master is good but God.
Theophylact: Therefore the Lord intended by these words to raise the mind of the young man, so that he might know Him to be God. But He also implies another thing by these words, that when you have to converse with a man, you should not flatter him in your conversation, but look back upon God, the root and fount of goodness, and do honour to Him.
Bede: But observe that the righteousness of the law, when kept in its own time, conferred not only earthly goods, but also eternal life on those who chose it. Wherefore the Lord's answer to one who enquires concerning everlasting life is, "Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill"; for this is the childlike blamelessness which is proposed to us, if we would enter the kingdom of heaven.
On which there follows, "And he answered and said unto Him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth."
We must not suppose that this man either asked the Lord, with a wish to tempt Him, as some have fancied, or lied in his account of his life; but we must believe that he confessed with simplicity how he had lived; which is evident, from what is subjoined, "Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him." If however he had been guilty of lying or of dissimulation, by no means would Jesus, (p. 202) after looking on the secrets of his heart, have been said to love him.
Origen, in Evan. tom. xv, 14: For in that He loved, or kissed him (ed. note: osculaius, interpretation in Ed. Ben. (?)), He appears to affirm the truth of his profession, in saying that he had fulfilled all those things; for on applying His mind to him, He saw that the man answered with a good conscience.
Pseudo-Chrys., Cat. in Marc. Oxon.: It is worthy of enquiry, however, how He loved a man, who, He knew, would not follow Him? But this is so much as to say, that since he was worthy of love in the first instance, because he observed the things of the law from his youth, so in the end, though he did not take upon himself perfection, he did not suffer a lessening of his former love. For although he did not pass the bounds of humanity, nor follow the perfection of Christ, still he was not guilty of any sin, since he kept the law according to the capability of a man, and in this mode of keeping it, Christ loved him (ed. note: The general meaning corresponds with the original, and is, that the young man is a type of those who keep the Gospel precepts, without going on to counsels of perfection; but the sense of the Greek has been missed by the Latin translator).
Bede: For God loves those who keep the commandments of the law, though they be inferior; nevertheless, He shews to those who would be perfect the deficiency of the law, for He came not to destroy the law, but to fulfil it. (Mt 5,17)
Wherefore there follows: "And said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me;" for whosoever would be perfect ought to sell all that he has, not a part, like Ananias and Sapphira, but the whole. Theophylact: And when he has sold it, to give it to the poor, not to stage-players and luxurious persons.
Chrys.: Well too did He say, not eternal life, but "treasure", saying, "And thou shalt have treasure in heaven"; for since the question was concerning wealth, and the renouncing of all things, He shews that He returns more things than He has bidden us leave, in proportion as heaven is greater than earth.
Theophylact: But because there are many poor who are not humble, but are drunkards or have some other vice, for this reason He says, "And come, follow me."
Bede: For he follows the Lord, who imitates Him, and walks in His footsteps.
It goes on: "And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved. (p. 203)
Chrys.: And the Evangelist adds the cause of his grief, saying, "For he had great possession." The feelings of those who have little and those who have much are not the same, for the increase of acquired wealth lights up a greater flame of covetousness.
There follows: "And Jesus looked round about, and said unto His disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God."
Theophylact: He says not here, that riches are bad, but that those are bad who only have them to watch them carefully; for He teaches us not to have them, that is, not to keep or preserve them, but to use them in necessary things.
Chrys.: But the Lord said this to His disciples, who were poor and possessed nothing, in order to teach them not to blush at their poverty, and as it were to make an excuse to them, and given them a reason, why He had not allowed them to possess any thing.
It goes on: "And the disciples were astonished at His words"; for it is plain, since they themselves were poor, that they were anxious for the salvation of others.
Bede: But there is a great difference between having riches, and loving them; wherefore also Solomon says not, He that hath silver, but, "He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver." (Qo 5,10) Therefore the Lord unfolds the words of His former saying to His astonished disciples, as follows: "But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard it is for them that trust in their riches to enter the kingdom of God." Where we must observe that He says not, how impossible, but "how hard"; for what is impossible cannot in any way come to pass, what is difficult can be compassed, though with labour.
Chrys.: Or else, after saying, "difficult," He then shews that it is impossible, and that not simply, but with a certain vehemence; and He shews this by an example, saying, "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven."
Theophylact: It may be that by camel, we should understand the animal itself, or else that thick cable, which is used for large vessels.
Bede: How then could either in the Gospel, Matthew and Joseph, or in the Old Testament, very many rich persons, enter into the kingdom of God, unless it be that they learned through the inspiration of God either to count their riches as nothing, or to quit them altogether. Or (p. 204) in a higher sense, it is easier for Christ to suffer for those who love Him, than for the lovers of this world to turn to Christ; for under the name of camel, He wished Himself to be understood, because He bore the burden of our weakness; and by the needle, He understands the prickings, that is, the pains of His Passion. By the eye of a needle, therefore, He means the straits of His Passion, by which He, as it were, deigned to mend the torn garments of our nature.
It goes on: "And they were astonished above measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?"
Since the number of poor people is immeasurably the greater, and these might be saved, though the rich perished, they must have understood Him to mean that all who love riches, although they cannot obtain them, are reckoned in the number of the rich.
It goes on: "And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God"; which we must not take to mean, that covetous and proud persons can enter into the kingdom of Heaven with their covetousness and pride, but that it is possible with God that they should be converted from covetousness and pride to charity and lowliness.
Chrys.: And the reason why He says that this is the work of God is, that He may shew that he who is put into this path by God, has much need of grace; from which it is proved, that great is the reward of those rich men, who are willing to follow the discipline (ed. note: philosophia) of Christ.
Theophylact: Or we must understand that by, "with men it is impossible, but not with God," He means, that when we listen to God, it becomes possible, but as long as we keep our human notions, it is impossible. There follows, "For all things are possible with God"; when He says "all things", you must understand, that have a being, which sin has not, for it is a thing without being and substance (ed. note: This is often urged by St. Augustine against the Manichees, who held that evil was a principle and a substance, coeternal with good. It also appears in the Pelagian controversy, for Pelagius argued that the Catholic doctrine of original sin implied that it was a substance; St. Augustine answers that though not a substance, it was a privation or disorganization of parts, just as darkness is a privation of light, and sickness a disordered state of body; which illustrates what Theophylact means by saying, that sin, though so great an evil, has no being or substance. see Aug. Conf. 7, 12, de Nat. et Grac. 21).
Or else: sin does not come under the notion of strength, but of weakness, therefore sin, like (p. 205) weakness, is impossible with God. But can God cause that not to have been done which has been done? To which we answer, that God is Truth, but to cause that what has been done should not have been done, is falsehood. How then can truth do what is false? He must first therefore quit His own nature, so that they who speak thus really say, Can God cease to be God? which is absurd.
7028 Mc 10,28-31
Gloss.: Because the youth, on hearing the advice of our Saviour concerning the casting away of his goods, had gone away sorrowful, the disciples of Christ, who had already fulfilled the foregoing precept, began to question Him concerning their reward, thinking that they had done a great thing, since the young man, who had fulfilled the commandments of the law, had not been able to hear it without sadness.
Wherefore Peter questions the Lord for himself and the others, in these words, "Then Peter began to say unto Him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee."
Theophylact: Although Peter had left but few things, still he calls these his all; for even a few things keep us by the bond of affection, so that he shall be beatified who leaves a few things.
Bede: And because it is not sufficient to have left all, he adds that which makes up perfection, "and have followed thee." As if he said, We have done what Thou hast commanded. What reward therefore wilt Thou give us?
Theophylact: But (p. 206) while Peter asks only concerning the disciples, our Lord makes a general answer; wherefore it goes on: "Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no one that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or children, or lands." But in saying this, He does not mean that we should leave our fathers, without helping them, or that we should separate ourselves from our wives; but He instructs us to prefer the glory of God to the things of this world.
Chrys., Hom. in Matt., 64: But it seems to me that by these words He intended covertly to proclaim that there were to be persecutions, as it would come to pass that many fathers would allure their sons to impiety, and many wives their husbands.
Chrys., Cat. in Marc. Oxon.: Again He delays not to say, "for my name's sake and the Gospel's" and Mark says, or "for the kingdom of God," as Luke says; the name of Christ is the power of the Gospel, and of His kingdom; for the Gospel is received in the name of Jesus Christ, and the kingdom is made known, and comes by His name.
Bede: Some, however, taking occasion from this saying, in which it is announced that he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, teach that Jewish fable of a thousand years after the resurrection of the just, when all that we have left for the Lord's sake is to be restored with manifold usury, besides which we are to receive the crown of everlasting life. These persons do no perceive, that although the promise in other respects be honourable, yet in the hundred wives, which the other Evangelists mention, its foulness is made manifest: particularly when the Lord testifies that there shall be not marriage in the resurrection, and asserts that those things which are put away from us for His sake are to be received again in this life with persecutions, which, as they affirm, will not take place in their thousand years. (ed. note: Certain early Fathers, as, for instance, St. Austin and Irenaeus, held the doctrine of the Millennium; Bede however mentions the Chilliasts (though their name is omitted in the Catena) and thus shews that he means the Corinthians, to whom that name was applied, on account of their shocking doctrine, that after the resurrection the Christians were to reign on earth for a thousand years in sensual pleasures, see Aug, de. Her. 8)
Pseudo-Chrys.: This hundredfold reward therefore must be in participation, not in possession, for the Lord fulfilled this to them not carnally, but spiritually.
Theophylact: For a wife is busied in a house about her husband's food and raiment. See also how this is (p. 207) the case with the Apostles; for many women busied themselves about their food and their clothing, and ministered unto them. In like manner the Apostles had many fathers and mothers, that is, persons who loved them; as Peter, for instance, leaving one house, had afterwards the houses of all the disciples. And what is more wonderful, they are to be persecuted and oppressed, for it is "with persecutions" that the Saints are to possess all things, for which reason there follows, "But many that are first shall be last, and the last first." For the Pharisees who were first became the last; but those who left all and followed Christ were last in this world through tribulation and persecutions, but shall be first by the hope which is in God.
Bede: This which is here said, "shall receive an hundredfold," may be understood in a higher sense. (see note, p. 78) For the number a hundred which is reckoned by changing from the left to the right hand, although it has the same appearance in the bending of the fingers as the ten had on the left, nevertheless is increased to a much greater quantity. This means, that all who have despised temporal things for the sake of the kingdom of heaven through undoubting faith, taste the joy of the same kingdom in this life which is full of persecutions, and in the expectation of the heavenly country, which is signified by the right hand, have a share in the happiness of all the elect. But because all do not accomplish a virtuous course of life with the same ardour as they began it, it is presently added, "But many that are first shall be last, and the last first"; for we daily see many persons who, remaining in a lay habit, are eminent for their meritorious life; but others, who from their youth have been ardent in a spiritual profession, at last wither away in the sloth of ease, and with a lazy folly finish in the flesh, what they had begun in the Spirit.
Golden Chain 7001