2 Corinthians 6:12

The apostle, in an intense outburst of feeling, bad just said, "O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged." He was referring to that opening of his ministry, and disclosure of his love for them, which filled the previous part of the chapter. And so he is led to ask from them a worthy response. He would have his love quicken love. He wanted it to break down the barriers and enmities and prejudices which were so sadly limiting the confidence of the Corinthians in St. Paul. So he pleads with them, "Ye are not straitened in us;" there is no limit of our love to you; "but ye are straitened in your own bowels," your own affections, which are sadly kept in bondage by your passions and prejudices and antipathies; by misrepresentations of me and my doings, and the influence of unworthy teachers. Then he urges them to break the bonds, to be enlarged, and to let their hearts express the love they feel. What they needed in their spiritual life was breadth and expansiveness of affection. There is suggested by the apostle's words a series of contrasts between -

I. THE LIMITED IDEAS AND AFFECTIONS OF MEN. Who are straitened by ignorance, imperfect character, prejudice, false sentiments, readiness to misjudge and to impute bad motive, etc.

II. THE BROAD IDEAS AND AFFECTIONS OF APOSTLES. Who see in men souls to be redeemed unto God, and, labouring for men's spiritual and eternal well being, can rise above the smaller occasions of difference and separation.

III. THE SUBLIME IDEAS AND AFFECTIONS OF GOD IN CHRIST. Who would have all men saved; who loved the world; whose love found expression in self-sacrifice; and whose invitations now are sent to whosoever will. No man is straitened in God. "When my father and mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up." In his heart and home there "yet is room." Men are straitened, limited, in themselves, not in God, not in the gospel, not in Christian teachers. They forge, and fix on, their own bondages. - R.T.

O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged.

1. It consists of a full exhibition to you of all the truths which the gospel teaches for your salvation.

2. It comprises an affectionate desire for your enjoyment of all the blessings which the gospel offers. This enjoyment —

(1)Comes from God.

(2)Is maintained by devout meditation and prayer.

(3)Is encouraged by examples.

(4)Expresses itself by earnestness of spirit in self-denying labours.


1. Take a firm and steady hold of the simple gospel, as divinely suited to the ends for which it has been given.

2. Meet the ministers of the gospel in the spirit in which they come to you.

3. Extend your own views, plans, and hopes in connection with the enlargement of the Church.

(1)What can you do?

(2)What is the wisest way of doing it?

(3)What are your encouragements and hopes?Address —

1. Those who have no disposition to respond to this appeal — why not?

2. Such as have.

3. Those confirmed by the meetings.

4. Those who are awakened.

(W. H. Stowell, D. D.)

I. THE APOSTLE'S AFFECTION overflows in an exuberant apostrophe (ver. 11). His love was deep, and this flow of eloquence arose out of the expansion of his heart.

1. "Our heart is enlarged." This remark is wonderful considering the provocations Paul had received. The Corinthians had denied the truthfulness of his ministry, charged him with interested motives, sneered at his manner, etc. In the face of this his heart expands! — partly with compassion. Their insults only impressed him with a sense of their need. How worthy a successor of his Master's spirit! And this is the true test of gracious charity. Does the heart expand or narrow as life goes on? If it narrows, ii misconception or opposition wither love, be sure that that love had no root. "If ye love them that love you, what reward have ye?, And this love is given to all, partly from looking on all as immortal souls in Christ. The everlasting principle within makes all the difference. Hold fast to love. If men wound your heart, let them not sour or embitter it; let them not shut up or narrow it; let them only expand it more and more, and be always able to say with Paul, "My heart is enlarged."

2. "Our mouth is open unto you." He might have shut his lips, and in dignified pride refused to plead his own cause. But instead he speaks his thoughts aloud, and, like Luther, lays his whole heart open to view. Paul had no afterthought, no reservation — he was a genuine man.


1. The enlargement of their heart towards him.

2. To be shown in their separation from the world and from all uncleanness. It was not simply affection towards himself that he desired, but devotion to God.

3. This is the only true recompense of ministerial work.

(F. W. Robertson, M. A.)


1. It is not mere mental expansion. History supplies too many examples of intellectual greatness associated with moral degradation.

2. It is not mere liberality of sentiment.

3. It consists in enlarged views of men as the subject of moral government, and enlarged desires for promoting their well-being. It is Christianity only that inspires those views and those feelings. It gives to man enlarged expectations, and teaches him the way to realise them.


1. Examine the present state of the heart.

2. Meditate upon the great evangelical facts. "God so loved the world," etc.

3. Commune with men of enlarged souls. He that walketh with wise men shall be wise, he that walketh with good souls may participate in their goodness.

4. Hold fellowship with the Son of God. Be much with Him, drink in His sentiments, imbibe His spirit.

III. THE NEED OF HEART EXPANSION. Why should we seek it?

1. The heart is capable of it. How the gospel makes little souls great!

2. We are representatives of Christ. How great in soul should Christians be who have to stand between the loving Son of God and the fallen world!

3. Enlargement of heart is essential to our usefulness. It is only the heart expanding with love that can turn time, talent, property, acquirements, to spiritual use.

4. We are responsible for the condition of the heart whether contracted or enlarged.

(Caleb Morris.)

The gospel had enlarged the heart of the apostle, and he supposed it had a tendency to enlarge the hearts of the Corinthians. His views and feelings were once confined to himself, and to objects connected with his personal interests. But after he had understood and loved the gospel his heart expanded, and he felt interested in everything comprised in the great and benevolent scheme of man's redemption.


1. The heart is something different from the faculties of the mind, and consists in free voluntary exercises, emotions, or affections.

2. Every moral agent has some supreme object in view. Self is the object in the unsanctified heart, but the renewed heart has a regard to the interest of others.

3. The heart is large or small in proportion to the largeness or smallness of the objects upon which ii terminates.

4. Men's hearts enlarge as their capacities, relations, connections, and spheres of action increase. When David was a shepherd his mind and heart were as small as his flock; when he became a general they were as large as his army; when he ascended the throne they were enlarged in proportion to the interests of the nation.

5. It is true, indeed, the heart does not always keep pace with the progress of capacity and knowledge. If a man's supreme object be mean or unimportant it will contract his mind and feelings. The man who makes property his supreme object sees nothing in the universe superior to property, and esteems nothing important but what tends to property. So with amusements, etc. As a man's heart is always where his treasure is, so his heart is as large and no larger than his supposed treasure.

II. THE GOSPEL HAS A DIRECT TENDENCY TO ENLARGE THE HEARTS OF THOSE WHO EMBRACE IT. The gospel comprises the highest good of the universe, and those who embrace it cordially approve of this design. They love the good that God loves, and desire to have it promoted in the way proposed in the gospel. As soon, therefore, as any become cordially united to Christ, the discovery of this great good immediately expands their hearts. The gospel tends to enlarge men's hearts —

1. Towards God. It gives the fullest and brightest display of His glory.

2. Towards Christ. The great and glorious Saviour is nowhere revealed but here. Nature discovers none such. As men's knowledge of the gospel therefore increases, their love, gratitude, and whole hearts are enlarged towards Christ.

3. Towards the Church of Christ.

4. Towards all mankind.

5. Towards all created beings, whether holy or unholy, and towards every living creature, from the highest angel to the smallest insect. These all belong to God, and are a part of tits interest.

6. To take an interest in all events. They all stand inseparably connected with the extensive design of the gospel, which assures believers that all things are theirs, whether past, present, or to come, and shall eventually work together for their good.If the gospel tends to enlarge the views and hearts of those who embrace it, then —

1. Unbelievers have no just ground to object to it as enfeebling the minds and contracting the hearts of men.

2. We see why the Scripture represents believers as far more amiable and excellent than unbelievers.

3. They sincerely desire that the gospel may be universally known and embraced.

4. They know by experience that they cannot serve God and mammon.

5. They ardently desire to know more and more about it.

6. It enables them to perform all the duties which it requires with great pleasure and delight. "I will run the way of Thy commandments when Thou shalt enlarge my heart."

(N. Emmons, D. D.)

Be ye also enlarged
Congregational Pulpit.
Consider the text —


1. In understanding and wisdom.

2. In the affections of the heart.

3. In the blessedness of the future. "Oh taste and see that the Lord is good."


1. Be ye also enlarged in the knowledge and love of Christ.

2. In prayer and holy effort.

III. AS IT REMINDS OF HEAVEN. Heaven will be an eternal enlargement, for —

1. There will be perfect comprehension. Nothing to perplex, nothing to obscure.

2. The soul will be released from its earthly prison-house.

3. The bliss of the redeemed will be ever increasing.

(Congregational Pulpit.)


1. Negatively.(1) Not in expansion of intellect, for there are many in whose character moral deficiencies form a striking contrast to brilliancy of intellect.(2) Others flatter themselves that they possess superior enlargement because they entertain an equal indifference to all the varieties of human opinion in religious subjects, and feel no regard for any sect or creed. This would, no doubt, be a very cheap and easy doctrine to embrace; by those who are indifferent concessions are easily made to almost any extent, and there can be no great liberality in sacrificing truth where no real attachment to truth is felt.

2. Positively it consists in a real benevolence to the whole Church of Christ, as opposed to any selfish views of our own salvation, or of our own Church, as exclusively concerned. There are some who live solely to themselves, others limit their benevolence to the circle of their own family or of their acquaintance, and others extend their benevolent interest to every case of distress that falls within their view. And this is the utmost extent of human benevolence, apart from the religion of Christ. The proud Roman confined all his benevolence to Rome. That all nations were of one blood never entered into the views of the most enlightened men in the pagan world. But suppose us enabled to open our eyes to a comprehensive view of mankind as one vast family; suppose God to have clearly discovered Himself as the universal Father, from whom all have alike departed by sin; suppose Him to have shown us that one great method of recovery has been provided for all, what should be the effect of such a revelation but first to attach us to God as our common centre, and then to the whole family of man as called to form the Church of God?


1. It is perfectly reasonable and in harmony with nature. We are so circumstanced that we are perpetually and inevitably led out of ourselves. There are natural emotions that are purely benevolent; pity, e.g., identifies us with others. In all our social affections, supposing them genuine, we act on the ground of a disinterested benevolence; it is their happiness, not our own, that we primarily seek.

2. It agrees with the genius of Christianity, the grand display of the Divine benevolence, "Herein is love," etc. Hence the apostle declares, "The love of Christ constrains us." Such an example of compassionate benevolence — of enlargement of heart — once perceived and felt absorbs the soul.

3. It is conducive to our own happiness. The more we identify ourselves with the interest of others the more we consult our own happiness. In the pursuit of any merely solitary schemes we shall reap only disappointment. When the barriers of selfishness are broken down, and the current of benevolence is suffered to flow generously abroad, and circulate far and near around, then we are in a capacity of the greatest and best enjoyment.

4. It tends to promote all public good.


1. Acquaintance with God. First draw near to the Father in that new and living way, for "whoso loveth Him that begot will also love all those that are begotten." Once taste for yourself that the Lord is gracious, and then you will find that you "cannot but speak of what you have seen and heard."

2. Prayer for the Holy Spirit's influence; by this alone can our hearts be truly enlarged in love to man.

3. Connection with great objects of beneficence. The mind takes a tincture from the objects it pursues. If you engage your attention in the concerns of Christian philanthropy your mind will be dilated in proportion to your ardour.

(R. Hall, M. A.)

Of this enlargedness of mind the apostle was an eminent example. All his worldly prospects he cheerfully relinquished for the service of Christ.

I. ITS NATURE AND OPERATIONS. The enlarged Christian —

1. Entertains comprehensive and connected ideas of the religion of the gospel, and regards the several parts of it according to their comparative usefulness and importance.(1) There are some who confine their zeal to certain favourite sentiments and usages, and these not the most important, like those primitive believers whose attachment to the rites and ceremonies almost excluded charity to their more liberal brethren.(2) The enlarged Christian imbibes his religious sentiments fresh and pure from the deep fountain of Divine truth, not from the shallow, variable stream of human opinion. Contemplating the perfect character of God, he concludes that all religion must consist in rectitude of heart and holiness of life; that love to Him and benevolence to men must be its leading principles.

2. Judges freely and independently in matters of religion. He will not receive doctrines as the commandments of men, nor, on the other hand, will he cavil and object against them to show his superiority to the opinions of men.

3. Yields an unreserved submission to the Divine government. To a contracted mind the ways of God are subjects of daily complaint, but the man of an enlarged heart contemplates the ways of God on a more extensive scale. He therefore acquiesces in all the allotments of providence, and rejoices that his interests are in better hands than his own.

4. Is of a humble mind. The man of a narrow heart thinks highly of his own worth, is tenacious of his own opinions, and devoted to his own interest; but the man of liberal sentiments thinks soberly, speaks modestly, and walks humbly. Influenced by this spirit, the Christian reveres the word of revelation, and receives its instructions with submission.

5. Has a benevolent heart. He whose feelings are contracted within himself views with indifference the misfortunes of a neighbour, or takes advantage from them. But the enlarged Christian considers all men as his brethren. He can sacrifice his own interest to the superior happiness of his fellow-men, like Paul, who sought not his own profit, but the profit of many, that they might be saved.


1. An intimate acquaintance with the Holy Scriptures. It is not any and every kind of knowledge that will enlarge the mind, but only-that which is great in its object and useful in its tendency.

2. Sub, mission to the power of the gospel. Knowledge is highly useful, but this alone will rather swell than enlarge the mind. It is charity which edifies.

3. Social inter. course, especially social worship.

4. Prayer.

(J. Lathrop, D. D.)

Corinthians, Paul
Achaia, Corinth
Affection, Affections, Bowels, Feelings, Love, Narrow, Narrowness, Restrained, Restricted, Straitened, Withholding, Yours
1. That he has approved himself a faithful minister of Christ by his exhortations,
3. and by integrity of life,
4. and by patiently enduring all kinds of affliction and disgrace for the gospel.
10. Of which he speaks the more boldly amongst them because his heart is open to them,
13. and he expects the like affection from them again;
14. exhorting them to flee the society and pollutions of idolaters,
17. as being themselves temples of the living God.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
2 Corinthians 6:11-13

     5017   heart, renewal

Blessed Prosperity Meditations on the First Psalm.
INTRODUCTORY. There is a prosperity which is not blessed: it comes not from above but from beneath, and it leads away from, not towards heaven. This prosperity of the wicked is often a sore perplexity to the servants of GOD; they need to be reminded of the exhortation, "Fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass." Many besides the Psalmist have been envious at the foolish when seeing the prosperity of the wicked, and have been
J. Hudson Taylor—A Ribband of Blue

Second Sunday in Lent
Text: First Thessalonians 4, 1-7. 1 Finally then, brethren, we beseech and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that, as ye received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, even as ye do walk,--that ye abound more and more. 2 For ye know what charge we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye abstain from fornication; 4 that each one of you know how to possess himself of his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust,
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. II

Of the Scriptures
Eph. ii. 20.--"And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone." Believers are "the temple of the living God," in which he dwells and walks, 2 Cor. vi. 16. Every one of them is a little sanctuary and temple to his Majesty, "sanctify the Lord of hosts in your hearts." Though he be "the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity," yet he is pleased to come down to this poor cottage of a creature's heart, and dwell in it. Is not this
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Love and the Comforter.
"By the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned."--2 Cor. vi. 6. The question is, "In what sense is the pouring out of Love an ever-continued, never-finished work? Love is here taken in its highest, purest sense. Love which gives its goods to the poor and its body to be burned is out of the question. St. Paul declares that one may do these things and still be nothing more than a sounding brass, utterly devoid of the least spark of the true and real Love. In 2 Cor. vi. 6 the apostle mentions the motives of
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

Above and Below
"As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing."--2 Cor. vi. 10. P. G. tr., Emma Frances Bevan, 1899 In the bosom of the Father, Centre of His endless love, In the light and in the glory, Thus in Christ I dwell above. Filling up His bitter sufferings, Drinking of His cup of woe, And rejoicing as I do it, Thus with Christ I walk below. There above I rest, untroubled, All my service to adore; Cross and shame and death and sorrow Left behind for evermore. Therefore am I never weary Journeying onward through
Frances Bevan—Hymns of Ter Steegen and Others (Second Series)

And He was Altogether Wonderful in Faith and Religious...
68. And he was altogether wonderful in faith and religious, for he never held communion with the Meletian schismatics, knowing their wickedness and apostacy from the beginning; nor had he friendly dealings with the Manichæans or any other heretics; or, if he had, only as far as advice that they should change to piety. For he thought and asserted that intercourse with these was harmful and destructive to the soul. In the same manner also he loathed the heresy of the Arians, and exhorted all
Athanasius—Select Works and Letters or Athanasius

PAUL ENTIRELY SANCTIFIED. I might urge a great many other considerations, and as I have said, fill a book with scriptures, and arguments, and demonstrations, of the attainability of entire sanctification in this life. But I forbear, and will present only one more consideration--a consideration which has great weight in some minds. It is a question of great importance, whether any actually ever did attain this state. Some who believe it attainable, do not consider it of much importance to show that
Charles Grandison Finney—Systematic Theology

How the Whole and the Sick are to be Admonished.
(Admonition 13.) Differently to be admonished are the whole and the sick. For the whole are to be admonished that they employ the health of the body to the health of the soul: lest, if they turn the grace of granted soundness to the use of iniquity, they be made worse by the gift, and afterwards merit the severer punishments, in that they fear not now to use amiss the more bountiful gifts of God. The whole are to be admonished that they despise not the opportunity of winning health for ever.
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

Clean Carriers
'Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord.'--ISAIAH lii. 11. The context points to a great deliverance. It is a good example of the prophetical habit of casting prophecies of the future into the mould of the past. The features of the Exodus are repeated, but some of them are set aside. This deliverance, whatever it be, is to be after the pattern of that old story, but with very significant differences. Then, the departing Israelites had spoiled the Egyptians and come out, laden with silver
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Warfare of Christian Service
'All that enter in to perform the service, to do the work in the tabernacle.' NUM. iv. 23. These words occur in the series of regulations as to the functions of the Levites in the Tabernacle worship. The words 'to perform the service' are, as the margin tells us, literally, to 'war the warfare.' Although it may be difficult to say why such very prosaic and homely work as carrying the materials of the Tabernacle and the sacrificial vessels was designated by such a term, the underlying suggestion is
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Twenty-Fourth Day. Holiness and Cleansing.
Having therefore these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.'--2 Cor. vii. 1. That holiness is more than cleansing, and must be preceded by it, is taught us in more than one passage of the New Testament. 'Christ loved the Church, and gave Himself up for it, that He might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word.' 'If a man cleanse himself from these, he shall be a vessel
Andrew Murray—Holy in Christ

Purity and Peace in the Present Lord
PHILIPPIANS iv. 1-9 Euodia and Syntyche--Conditions to unanimity--Great uses of small occasions--Connexion to the paragraphs--The fortress and the sentinel--A golden chain of truths--Joy in the Lord--Yieldingness--Prayer in everything--Activities of a heart at rest Ver. 1. +So, my brethren beloved and longed for+, missed indeed, at this long distance from you, +my joy and crown+ of victory (stephanos), +thus+, as having such certainties and such aims, with such a Saviour, and looking for such
Handley C. G. Moule—Philippian Studies

Introductory Note to the Epistles of Ignatius
[a.d. 30-107.] The seductive myth which represents this Father as the little child whom the Lord placed in the midst of his apostles (St. Matt. xviii. 2) indicates at least the period when he may be supposed to have been born. That he and Polycarp were fellow-disciples under St. John, is a tradition by no means inconsistent with anything in the Epistles of either. His subsequent history is sufficiently indicated in the Epistles which follow. Had not the plan of this series been so exclusively that
Ignatius—The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians

Epistle Xl. To Cyriacus, Patriarch of Constantinople.
To Cyriacus, Patriarch of Constantinople. Gregory to Cyriacus, &c. Observing diligently, most dear brother, how great is the virtue of peace from the Lord's voice, which says, My peace I give unto you (Joh. xiv. 27), it becomes us so to abide in the love thereof as in no wise to give place to discord. But, since we cannot otherwise live in its root except by retaining in mind and in deed the humility which the very author of peace has taught, we entreat you with befitting charity, that, treading
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

"And Truly Our Fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And These Things Write we unto You, that Your Joy May Be
1 John i. 3, 4.--"And truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full." It was sin that did first break off that fellowship that was between God and man, and cut off that blessed society in which the honour and happiness of man consisted. But that fundamental bond being loosed, it hath likewise untied all the links of society of men among themselves, and made such a general dispersion and dissipation of mankind,
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

The First Native Converts and Christian Schools
1800-1810 A carpenter the first Bengali convert--Krishna Pal's confession--Caste broken for the first time--Carey describes the baptism in the Hoogli--The first woman convert--The first widow convert--The first convert of writer caste--The first Christian Brahman--The first native chapel--A Bengali "experience" meeting--Carey founding a new community as well as church--Marriage difficulties solved--The first native Christian marriage feast in North India--Hindoo Christian death and burial--The first
George Smith—The Life of William Carey

Christian Behavior
Being the fruits of true Christianity: Teaching husbands, wives, parents, children, masters, servants, etc., how to walk so as to please God. With a word of direction to all backsliders. Advertisement by the Editor This valuable practical treatise, was first published as a pocket volume about the year 1674, soon after the author's final release from his long and dangerous imprisonment. It is evident from the concluding paragraph that he considered his liberty and even his life to be still in a very
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

Twentieth Sunday after Trinity the Careful Walk of the Christian.
Text: Ephesians 5, 15-21. 15 Look therefore carefully how ye walk [See then that ye walk circumspectly], not as unwise, but as wise; 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And be not drunken with wine, wherein is riot, but be filled with the Spirit; 19 speaking one to another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 giving thanks always for all things
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

From the Latin Translation of Cassiodorus.
[3712] I.--Comments [3713] On the First Epistle of Peter. Chap. i. 3. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who by His great mercy hath regenerated us." For if God generated us of matter, He afterwards, by progress in life, regenerated us. "The Father of our Lord, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:" who, according to your faith, rises again in us; as, on the other hand, He dies in us, through the operation of our unbelief. For He said again, that the soul never returns a second
Clement of Alexandria—Who is the Rich Man that Shall Be Saved?

That the Ruler Should be Always Chief in Action.
The ruler should always be chief in action, that by his living he may point out the way of life to those that are put under him, and that the flock, which follows the voice and manners of the shepherd, may learn how to walk better through example than through words. For he who is required by the necessity of his position to speak the highest things is compelled by the same necessity to exhibit the highest things. For that voice more readily penetrates the hearer's heart, which the speaker's life
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

Thirdly, for Thy Actions.
1. Do no evil, though thou mightest; for God will not suffer the least sin, without bitter repentance, to escape unpunished. Leave not undone any good that thou canst. But do nothing without a calling, nor anything in thy calling, till thou hast first taken counsel at God's word (1 Sam. xxx. 8) of its lawfulness, and pray for his blessings upon thy endeavour; and then do it in the name of God, with cheerfulness of heart, committing the success to him, in whose power it is to bless with his grace
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

Some Man Will Say: "What Then Does it Profit a Servant of God...
32. Some man will say: "What then does it profit a servant of God, that, having left the former doings which he had in the world he is converted unto the spiritual life and warfare, if it still behove him to do business as of a common workman?" As if truly it could be easily unfolded in words, how greatly profiteth what the Lord, in answer to that rich man who was seeking counsel of laying hold on eternal life, told him to do if he would fain be perfect: sell that he had, distribute all to the indigence
St. Augustine—Of the Work of Monks.

Concerning Perfection.
Concerning Perfection. In whom this pure and holy birth is fully brought forth, the body of death and sin comes to be crucified and removed, and their hearts united and subjected to the truth; so as not to obey any suggestions or temptations of the evil one, but to be free from actual sinning and transgressing of the law of God, and in that respect perfect: yet doth this perfection still admit of a growth; and there remaineth always in some part a possibility of sinning, where the mind doth not most
Robert Barclay—Theses Theologicae and An Apology for the True Christian Divinity

The Yoke of Christ.
"Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls; for My yoke is easy, and My burden is light."--Matt. xi. 29, 30. These words, which are brought before us in the Gospel of to-day's festival[1], are also found in the address made to us upon Ash Wednesday, in which we are told that if we "return unto Him who is the merciful Receiver of all true penitent sinners, if we will take His easy yoke and light burden upon us, to follow Him
John Henry Newman—Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. VII

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