The Conferences Of John Cassian by John Cassian
Chapter X. Our question about our fear of the oath which we gave in the monastery in Syria.
Germanus: In so far as it concerns our desire, which we undertook to carry out for the sake of spiritual profit, we were hoping to be edified by continual intercourse with you. For if we were to return to our monastery it is certain that we should not only fail of so sublime a purpose, but that we should also suffer grievous loss from the mediocrity of the manner of life there. But that command of the gospel frightens us terribly: |Let your speech be yea, yea, nay, nay: but whatsoever is more than these, is from the evil one.| For we hold that we cannot compensate for transgressing so important a command by any righteousness, nor can that finally turn out well which has once been started with a bad beginning.