Matthew 19:23

Jesus draws a lesson of sad warning from. the failure of the young ruler who could not bring himself to make the great sacrifice required as a condition of his obtaining eternal life. He points out the exceeding difficulty of a rich man's entrance into the kingdom of heaven.

I. THE EXPLANATION OF THE DIFFICULTY. It is wholly on the side of the man who is hindered and hampered by his wealth. God has opened the gate and invited all who will to enter. He is no respecter of persons. He does not favour the rich to the neglect of the poor; and he does not favour the poor and deal harshly with the rich. He is just and fair with all. But the rich man has hindrances in himself.

1. The absorbing interest of riches. The danger is that the wealthy man should be satisfied with his possessions; or, as that is impossible unless he is partially stupefied by them, that they should so fill his life that he should not have time or thought for better things. He may be buried under the load of his own goods, lost in the mazes of his forest of possessions.

2. The deceitful promise of riches. Jesus spoke of the deceitfulness of riches as one of the weeds that spring up and choke the Word (Matthew 13:22). if wealth does not yet satisfy, still it promises future satisfaction. The rich man comes to think he can buy all he wants, if only he can find the right market.

3. The foolish pride of riches. If ever a man has a right to be proud, it is on account of what he is, not because of what he has. The owner of millions may be a miserable coward, sensual sot, a senseless fool. Yet the disgraceful sycophancy of the world teaches him to regard himself as a superior person. Now, pride is the most effectual harrier to the entrance of the kingdom of heaven. Only the lowly and humble and childlike can creep through its humble doorway.

4. The hardening selfishness of riches. Wealth, though it gives the means of helping others, tends to seal up the fountains of generosity and destroy the springs of sympathy. The self-indulgent man cannot enter that kingdom, the citizens of which have to deny themselves and carry the cross.


1. The folly of covetousness. Why should we make haste to be rich, if riches may become a curse to us? If in any case they are likely to bring fresh difficulties, should we be so anxious to acquire them? How is it that so many Christian people are to be found eagerly pursuing the race for wealth?

2. The duty of contentment. We may never get riches. What of that if we have the kingdom of heaven, which is far better? Perhaps we are spared a dangerous temptation.

3. The need of sympathy with the difficulties of rich men. Jesus did not denounce the young man who made the great refusal. He loved him and pitied him. If rich men fail, we should remember that they were beset with temptations that do not fall to the lot of most of us.

4. Faith in the power of God. The rich man is gravely warned. He is in serious danger. He may fail miserably, crushed by the load of his own wealth. His salvation would be a miracle. But God can work miracles. Though it be as hard for a rich man to save himself as for a camel to pass like a thread through a needle's eye, God can save him. Therefore

(1) the rich should have the gospel preached to them;

(2) we should pray for the rich;

(3) we should rejoice greatly that there are rich men in the kingdom of God. - W.F.A.

That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven:

1. Riches tend to obscure faith; to make one trust in them, instead of in God.

2. They encourage their possessor to love the world, and to withhold his heart from God.

3. They exclude disinterested love and goodwill toward others.

4. They hinder humility. People dare not tell a rich man of his faults, so he seldom gets an opportunity of mending them.

5. They prevent meekness.

6. They make a man hard and unyielding, difficult to convince of what is true, unwilling to be persuaded, or to submit m any way to others.


1. To atheism. With riches a man seems dependent on no one. He thinks himself his own master.

2. To idolatry. From the worship of no God there is an easy transition to, the worship of false gods. He who loves not the Creator will certainly love the creature, e.g., the gratification of the outward senses. Not necessarily gluttony and drunkenness, destroying the body. A moderate sensuality, a regular kind of epicurism will be quite enough to keep the soul dead to God and all true religion.

3. To the gratification of the imagination — beautiful houses, elegant furniture, curious pictures, delightful gardens. Innocent in themselves, how do all these things draw off the mind from more serious pursuits!

4. To self-inflation.

5. Pride.

6. Salt-will.

7. Contempt of inferiors.

8. Fretfulness and peevishness. A gentleman of large fortune, while we were seriously conversing, ordered a servant to throw some coals on the fire. As he did so, a puff of smoke came out, on which the gentleman threw himself back in his chair and cried out, "Oh, Mr. Wesley, these are the crosses which I meet with every day!" I could not help asking, "Pray, Sir John, are these the heaviest crosses you meet with!" Surely these crosses would not have fretted him so much if he had had only fifty pounds a year, instead of five thousand.

(John Wesley.)

It is hard to carry a full cup with a steady hand. High places are dizzy places, and full many have fallen to their eternal rain through climbing aloft without having grace to look up. Trailing robes raise a dust, and gather upon themselves all sorts of filthiness, besides being subjected to needless wear and tear. A man may have so much of this world that he misses the next. His long robe may trip him up in the race for the heavenly prize, and he may fall a victim to the wealth he idolized. Alas, for the poor rich! Faring sumptuously every day, and yet full often strangers to that deep and peerless joy which belongs to those who, in the deep waters of poverty, find a boundless bliss in trusting God. When the rich are saved they should count it a miracle of grace, and feel great gratitude to Him who enables a camel to go through the eye of a needle, notwithstanding his hump.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

for of all sins this is one of the most insidious. It is like the silting up of a river. As the stream comes down from the land it brings with it sand and earth, and deposits all these at its mouth, so that by degrees, unless the conservators catch it carefully, it will block itself up, and leave no channel for ships of great burden. By daily deposit it imperceptibly creates a bar which is dangerous to navigation. Many a man when he begins to accumulate wealth commences at the same moment to ruin his soul; and the more he acquires, the more closely he blocks up his liberality, which is, so to speak, the very mouth of spiritual life. Instead of doing more for God, he does less; the more he saves, the more he wants; and the more he wants of this world, the less he cares for the world to come.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Pope Adrian VI. said that nothing befell him more unhappy in all his life than that he had been the head of the Church and monarch of the Christian commonwealth. Another pope said that when he first entered into orders he had some good hopes of his salvation; when he became a cardinal he doubted it; but since he was made pope he almost despaired of it.

Let rich men often ruminate this terrible text, and take heed. Let them untwist their cables, that is, their heart, by humiliation (James 1:10; James 5:1), till it be made like small threads, as it must be, before they can enter into the eye of a needle, that is, eternal life.

(John Trapp.)

When we read history, whether it be the history of Dives in the parable, or of Shylock in the play, we see how hard wealth can make men — how it can contract their vision and dwarf their aspirations and extinguish their sympathies. Nay, when we read the lives of our fellow-men, as they are lived alongside of us, we see how wealth can benumb the conscience and brutalize the moral sense, so that a rich man's career shall remind you of nothing so much as those buccaneers of the Spanish main with whom might made right, and who knew no law but the law of triumphant audacity. When one notes these things and sees what a power there is in the possession of wealth to stimulate the instincts of cruelty and a petty revenge, and to extinguish those finer traits which make life sweet and sunny — above all, when one sees how riches rear a dome of brass over so many human lives, and ,hake heaven and Christ and the life to come as unlonged-for and unappreciated as would be a lock of a dead child's hair to a pawnbroker — then one can at least understand why Christ should pronounce the solemn words which are recorded here.

(Bishop H. C. Potter.)


II. MEN CONSIDER WEALTH AS THE CHIEF GOOD, and when this is obtained think they have gained all.

III. They are PROUD OF THEIR WEALTH, and are unwilling to be numbered with the poor and despised followers of Jesus.

IV. RICHES ENGROSS THE TIME, fill the mind with cares and anxieties, and leave little for God.

V. They OFTEN PRODUCE LUXURY, dissipation, and vice.

VI. IT IS DIFFICULT TO OBTAIN WEALTH WITHOUT SIN, avarice, covetousness, fraud, and oppression (1 Timothy 6:9, 10, 17; James 5:1-5; Luke 12:16-21; Luke 16:19-31). All these may be overcome. God can give grace to do it. Though to men it may appear impossible, yet it is easy for God (ver. 26).

(A. Barnes, D. D.)

Heaven is a stately palace, with a narrow portal; there must be both stripping and straining ere one can get through this strait gate. The greatest wealth is ordinarily tumoured up with the greatest swelth of rebellion against God. Pride breeds in wealth as the worm doth in the apple, and he is a great rich man indeed and greater than his riches, that doth not think himself great because he is rich. Have them we may, and use them too; but mind them we may not, nor love them; that is spiritual harlotry, such as God's soul hateth, and He smiteth His hands at.

(John Trapp.)

The Hive.
Though we may not be exposed to this danger, thinking of it may free us from envy. There is danger in —

I. The ACQUISITION: fraud, etc., heart drawn away from God.

II. The POSSESSION: hoarded, they beget covetousness; enjoyed, lead to riot, etc., may be loved inordinately; trusted in, may lead to pride and contempt of the poor. Learn —

1. A difficult thing to get wealth rightly, and use it well.

2. An awful thing to die a rich man in a world of so much sorrow; give an account of stewardship.

3. Do not envy the rich.

4. Remember that the true and lasting riches may be easily got.

(The Hive.)

The danger of the possession of wealth being admitted, let us now examine a few of the causes of this danger.

1. There is a fascination in the ownership of money, for it represents much of this world's power; there are few worldly things it cannot purchase. Besides, there is a satisfaction to the rich man in counting his money, in the quiet contemplation, the secret consciousness of the power which if he pleases he cam wield through it.

2. Money takes from man the feeling of dependence on God. Possessing it, he is apt to say to himself, "Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years" — why then should he trouble about possible future wants, when his income is so far above his expenditure? — and hence his state of mind is entirely opposed to the spirit in which we are taught to pray, "Give us this day our daily bread." The possession of wealth is therefore destructive of humility, of dependence upon God.

3. Riches incline a man in all ways to lean upon the world, which provides him with too much in which he delights, to make this world his home, thus hindering him from looking up; for we cannot live by faith and sight any more than we can serve two masters.

4. The possession of wealth tempts a man to be self-indulgent; to a needless display of magnificence in himself and his surroundings. Through the pleasures his wealth creates he soon gets entangled, and the daily cross of a disciple of Christ is altogether kept out of sight; the soul's eye becomes darkened, the affairs of time seem to be the only reality, those of eternity a shadow, a dream about which the man who is happy need not trouble himself. But there are many who have the feeling that they are not rich, and cannot therefore be concerned in the danger which the possession of riches brings. This may be true in one sense, but then "riches" is a word having different meanings to different people. Again, many who have not money look upon its acquisition as the aim of life, and accept success in gaining it as the measure of happiness. Many suffer the danger of the rich, because their thoughts are all centred on becoming rich. Labour being the ordinance of God, we ought to be able to find in our work the path allotted to us by His will. We should love God, not self, the centre, the ultimate aim of our toil. But not one of us, left to himself, is capable of efficiently discharging the responsibilities entailed by the possession of wealth; we need to be sustained by God.

(Canon Gregory.)

When a man is to travel into a far country, a great burden at his back will but hinder him in his journey; one staff in his hand may comfortably support him, but a bundle of staves would trouble him. Thus a competency of these outward things may happily help us in the way to heaven, whereas abundance may be hurt. ful, and, like long garments to a man that walks on in the way, will trip up our heels too, if we look not well about us.


Thorns are the shelter for serpents, and riches the den of many sins. Riches is a warm nest where lust securely sits to hatch all her unclean brood.


Our Saviour, indeed, doth not speak of an impossibility, but of the difficulty of it and the rareness of it. Job unfolded the riddle, and got trough the needle's eye with three thousand camels. But it is hard to be wealthy and not wanton; too often are riches, like birdlime, hindering the soul in its flight towards heaven.


A man in the very prime of life was lying on his death-bed. Paralysis had seized upon his body. It was creeping up, slowly and surely, to, his heart. His very hours were numbered. A faithful minister of God sat beside him, showing him the way of life. He was agonized in the effort to listen, to comprehend, but the old habit of years bound him so firmly that he could not fix his mind upon what his friend was saying. His life had been spent in the acquisition of wealth. Honestly, honourably it had been gained. There was no stain upon it, but yet it proved the millstone to drag him down. "Why, why!" he exclaimed in a voice of keenest anguish, "at this awful moment, can I think of nothing but my bank stock?"

Jesus, Peter
Galilee, Jordan River, Judea
Certainly, Difficulty, Disciples, Enter, Hardly, Heaven, Heavens, Kingdom, Money, Reign, Rich, Solemnly, Truly, Truth, Verily
1. Jesus heals the sick;
3. answers the Pharisees concerning divorce;
10. shows when marriage is necessary;
13. receives the little children;
16. instructs the young man how to attain eternal life;
20. and how to be perfect;
23. tells his disciples how hard it is for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God;
27. and promises reward to those who forsake all to follow him.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Matthew 19:23

     1462   truth, in NT
     8211   commitment, to world

Matthew 19:13-30

     5554   status

Matthew 19:16-24

     8812   riches, ungodly use

Matthew 19:16-30

     5381   law, letter and spirit

Matthew 19:21-24

     2363   Christ, preaching and teaching
     5399   luxury
     8780   materialism, and sin

Matthew 19:22-23

     5413   money, attitudes

Matthew 19:23-24

     2377   kingdom of God, entry into

Matthew 19:23-26

     5503   rich, the

The Requirements of the King
'And, behold, one came and said unto Him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17. And He said unto him, Why callest thou Me good? there is none good but One, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. 18. He saith unto Him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, 19. Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

On the Words of the Gospel, Matt. xix. 17, "If Thou Wouldest Enter into Life, Keep the Commandments. "
1. The Lord said to a certain young man, "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." [2792] He did not say, "If thou wilt enter into life eternal," but "If thou wilt enter into life;" laying down that as life, which is to be life eternal. Let us first then set forth the value of the love of this life. For even this present life, under whatever circumstances, is loved; and men fear and dread to end it of whatever kind it be; however full of trouble and misery. Hence may we see, hence consider,
Saint Augustine—sermons on selected lessons of the new testament

On the Words of the Gospel, Matt. xix. 21,"Go, Sell that Thou Hast, and Give to the Poor," Etc.
1. The Gospel by the present lesson has reminded me to speak to you, Beloved, of the heavenly treasure. For our God hath not, as unbelieving covetous men suppose, wished us to lose what we have: if what hath been enjoined us be properly understood, and piously believed, and devoutly received; He hath not enjoined us to lose, but rather shown a place where we may lay up. For no man can help thinking of his treasure, and following his riches in a kind of journeying of the heart. If then they are buried
Saint Augustine—sermons on selected lessons of the new testament

On the Words of the Gospel, Matt. xix. 28, "Come unto Me, all Ye that Labour and are Heavy Laden," Etc.
1. We heard in the Gospel that the Lord, rejoicing greatly in Spirit, said unto God the Father, "I confess to Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in Thy sight. All things are delivered unto Me of My Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him." [2306] I have
Saint Augustine—sermons on selected lessons of the new testament

On Riches
"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." Matthew 19:24. 1. In the preceding verses we have an account of a young man who came running to our Lord, and kneeling down, not in hypocrisy, but in deep earnestness of soul, and said unto him, "Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" "All the commandments," saith he, "I have kept from my youth: What lack I yet?" Probably he had kept them in the literal
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

Love Thy Neighbour
I shall notice, first of all, the command; secondly, I shall try and bring some reasons for your obedience to it; and afterwards, I shall draw some suggestions from the law itself. I. First, then, THE COMMAND. It is the second great commandment. The first is, "Thou shalt love the Lord, thy God," and there, the proper standard is, thou shalt love thy God more than thyself. The second commandment is, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour," and the standard there is a little lower, but still preeminently high,
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 3: 1857

The First Last, and the Last First
"But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first."--Matthew 19:30. "So the last shall be first, and the first last."--Matthew 20:16. WE MUST BE SAVED if we would serve the Lord. We cannot serve God in an unsaved condition. "They that are in the flesh cannot please God." It is vain for them to attempt service while they are still at enmity against God. The Lord wants not enemies to wait upon him, nor slaves to grace his throne. We must be saved first; and salvation is all of grace.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 37: 1891

The Way.
If thou wouldest be perfect.'--ST. MATTHEW xix 21. For reasons many and profound, amongst the least because of the fragmentary nature of the records, he who would read them without the candle of the Lord--that is, the light of truth in his inward parts-- must not merely fall into a thousand errors--a thing for such a one of less moment--but must fail utterly of perceiving and understanding the life therein struggling to reveal itself--the life, that is, of the Son of Man, the thought, the feeling,
George MacDonald—Unspoken Sermons

A Treatise on Good Works
I. We ought first to know that there are no good works except those which God has commanded, even as there is no sin except that which God has forbidden. Therefore whoever wishes to know and to do good works needs nothing else than to know God's commandments. Thus Christ says, Matthew xix, "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." And when the young man asks Him, Matthew xix, what he shall do that he may inherit eternal life, Christ sets before him naught else but the Ten Commandments.
Dr. Martin Luther—A Treatise on Good Works

Journey to Jerusalem. Concerning Divorce.
^A Matt. XIX. 1-12; ^B Mark X. 1-12. ^a 1 And it came to pass when Jesus had finished these words [the words contained in Matt. xviii., which are the last teachings in Galilee recorded by any of the Evangelists, p. 435 and p. 439 he departed from Galilee [Having come into the borders of it again from Ephraim. It seems likely that Matthew takes in at one view both departures from Galilee, viz.: that mentioned on p. 441 and that at [4]Sec. XCV., for Matthew records none of the intervening events and
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Blessing Children. Concerning Childlikeness.
(in Peræa.) ^A Matt. XIX. 13-15; ^B Mark X. 13-16; ^C Luke XVIII. 15-17. ^a 13 Then were there brought ^b 13 And they were bringing ^a unto him little children, { ^c also their babes,} that he should touch them: ^a that he should lay his hands on them, and pray [According to Buxtorf, children were often brought to the presidents of the synagogue in order that they might pray over them. The prayers of a good man in our behalf have always been regarded as a blessing; no wonder, then, that the
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

On the Journey to Jerusalem - Departure from Ephraim by Way of Samaria and Galilee - Healing of Ten Lepers - Prophetic Discourse of the Coming
The brief time of rest and quiet converse with His disciples in the retirement of Ephraim was past, and the Saviour of men prepared for His last journey to Jerusalem. All the three Synoptic Gospels mark this, although with varying details. [4875] From the mention of Galilee by St. Matthew, and by St. Luke of Samaria and Galilee - or more correctly, between (along the frontiers of) Samaria and Galilee,' we may conjecture that, on leaving Ephraim, Christ made a very brief detour along the northern
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

The Last Incidents in Peræa - the Young Ruler who Went Away Sorrowful - to Leave all for Christ - Prophecy of his Passion - The
As we near the goal, the wondrous story seems to grow in tenderness and pathos. It is as if all the loving condescension of the Master were to be crowded into these days; all the pressing need also, and the human weaknesses of His disciples. And with equal compassion does He look upon the difficulties of them who truly seek to come to Him, and on those which, springing from without, or even from self and sin, beset them who have already come. Let us try reverently to follow His steps, and learn of
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

The Third Day in Pasion-Week - the Last Series of Parables: to the Pharisees and to the People - on the Way to Jerusalem: the Parable
(ST. Matt. xix. 30, xx. 16; St. Matt. xxi. 28-32; St. Mark xii. 1-12; St. Luke xx. 9-19; St. Matt. xxii. 1-14.) ALTHOUGH it may not be possible to mark their exact succession, it will be convenient here to group together the last series of Parables. Most, if not all of them, were spoken on that third day in Passion week: the first four to a more general audience; the last three (to be treated in another chapter) to the disciples, when, on the evening of that third day, on the Mount of Olives, [5286]
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

The Journey through Perea to Jerusalem
166. The fourth gospel says that after the visit to Jerusalem at the feast of Dedication Jesus withdrew beyond Jordan to the place where John at the first was baptizing (x. 40). Matthew and Mark also say that at the close of the ministry in Galilee Jesus departed and came into the borders of Judea and beyond Jordan, and that in this new region the multitudes again flocked to him, and he resumed his ministry of teaching (Matt. xix. 1f.; Mark x. 1). What he did and taught at this time is not shown
Rush Rhees—The Life of Jesus of Nazareth

On the Words of the Gospel, "When Jesus had Finished These Sayings," Etc. --S. Matt. xix. 1
On the Words of the Gospel, "When Jesus Had Finished These Sayings," Etc.--S. Matt. xix. 1 I. Jesus Who Chose The Fishermen, Himself also useth a net, and changeth place for place. Why? Not only that He may gain more of those who love God by His visitation; but also, as it seems to me, that He may hallow more places. To the Jews He becomes as a Jew that He may gain the Jews; to them that are under the Law as under the Law, that He may redeem them that are under the Law; to the weak as weak, that
St. Cyril of Jerusalem—Lectures of S. Cyril of Jerusalem

Eligius, Bishop of Noyon.
THE life of this pious bishop is so much the more worthy our consideration, on account of his having passed many years in the position of an ordinary citizen, before he entered on the clerical office; because his life may thus afford us a picture of the pious citizens of his time. Eligius was born at Chatelàt, a mile from Limoges, A. D. 588. His family had been Christian for many generations, and he received a pious education, [8] the result of which extended throughout his life. In his youth,
Augustus Neander—Light in the Dark Places

Therefore no Fruitfulness of the Flesh Can be Compared to Holy virginity Even Of...
8. Therefore no fruitfulness of the flesh can be compared to holy virginity even of the flesh. For neither is itself also honored because it is virginity, but because it hath been dedicated to God, and, although it be kept in the flesh, yet is it kept by religion and devotion of the Spirit. And by this means even virginity of body is spiritual, which continence of piety vows and keeps. For, even as no one makes an immodest use of the body, unless the sin have been before conceived in the spirit,
St. Augustine—Of Holy Virginity.

Ye Also who have not yet Made this Vow...
30. Ye also who have not yet made this vow, who are able to receive it, receive it. [2093] Run with perseverance, that ye may obtain. [2094] Take ye each his sacrifices, and enter ye into the courts [2095] of the Lord, not of necessity, having power over your own will. [2096] For not as, "Thou shall not commit adultery, Thou shall not kill," [2097] can it so be said, Thou shalt not wed. The former are demanded, the latter are offered. If the latter are done, they are praised: unless the former are
St. Augustine—Of Holy Virginity.

Lastly, Let us Hear the Lord Himself Delivering Most Plain Judgment on this Matter. ...
23. Lastly, let us hear the Lord Himself delivering most plain judgment on this matter. For, upon His speaking after a divine and fearful manner concerning husband and wife not separating, save on account of fornication, His disciples said to Him, "If the case be such with a wife, it is not good to marry." [2066] To whom He saith, "Not all receive this saying. For there are eunuchs who were so born: but there are others who were made by men: and there are eunuchs, who made themselves eunuchs for
St. Augustine—Of Holy Virginity.

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.

It is Difficult to Treat of the virtue of the Soul...
1. It is difficult to treat of the virtue of the soul, which is called Continence, in a manner fully suitable and worthy; but He, whose great gift this virtue is, will help our littleness under the burden of so great a weight. For He, who bestows it upon His faithful ones when they are continent, Himself gives discourse of it to His ministers when they speak. Lastly, of so great a matter purposing to speak what Himself shall grant, in the first place we say and prove that Continence is the gift of
St. Augustine—On Continence

This we Now Say, That, According to this Condition of Being Born and Dying...
3. This we now say, that, according to this condition of being born and dying, which we know, and in which we have been created, the marriage of male and female is some good; the compact whereof divine Scripture so commends, as that neither is it allowed one put away by her husband to marry, so long as her husband lives: nor is it allowed one put away by his wife to marry another, unless she who have separated from him be dead. Therefore, concerning the good of marriage, which the Lord also confirmed
St. Augustine—On the Good of Marriage

But Since, as the Lord Saith, "Not all Receive this Word...
12. But since, as the Lord saith, "Not all receive this word;" [2249] therefore let her who can receive it, receive it; and let her, who containeth not, marry; let her, who hath not begun, deliberate; let her, who hath undertaken it, persevere; let there be no occasion given unto the adversary, let there be no oblation withdrawn from Christ. Forsooth in the marriage bond if chastity be preserved, condemnation is not feared; but in widowed and virginal continence, the excellence of a greater gift
St. Augustine—On the Good of Widowhood.

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