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Of Holy Virginity by St. Augustine

Section 50. But, again, lest by occasion of this sentenceà

50. But, again, lest by occasion of this sentence, any one should sin with deadly security, and should allow himself to be carried away, as though his sins were soon by easy confession to be blotted out, he straightway added, |My little children, these things have I written unto you, that ye sin not; and, if one shall have sinned, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and Himself is a propitiation of our sins.| Let no one therefore depart from sin as though about to return to it, nor bind himself as it were by compact of alliance of this kind with unrighteousness, so as to take delight rather to confess it than to shun it. But, forasmuch as even upon such as are busy and on the watch not to sin, there creep by stealth, in a certain way, from human weakness, sins, however small, however few, yet not none; these same themselves become great and grievous, in case pride shall have added to them increase and weight: but by the Priest, Whom we have in the heavens, if by pious humility they be destroyed, they are with all ease cleansed.

Footnotes:

1 John ii.1, 2 c51. But I contend not with those, who assert that a man can in this life live without any sin: I contend not, I gainsay not. For perhaps we take measure of the great from out our own misery, and, comparing ourselves with ourselves, understand not. One thing I know, that those great ones, such as we are not, such as we have not as yet made proof of, by how much they are great, by so much humble themselves in all things, that they may find grace before God. For, let them be how great soever they will, |there is no servant greater than his Lord, nor disciple greater than his master.| And assuredly He is the Lord, Who saith, |All things have been delivered unto Me of My Father;| and He is the Master, Who saith, |Come unto Me, all ye who labor, and learn of Me;| and yet what learn we? |In that I am meek,| saith He, |and lowly of heart.|

Footnotes:

2 Cor. x.12 John xiii.16

Matt. xi.27, 28

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