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How Florentius himself, now fully converted, did convert many others


AND as that most soft South wind of the Love Divine breathed yet more constantly upon the garden of his heart, and watered it with tears, he began to be very fruitful in devotion, and to be moved with pious zeal to draw others from the defilements of sin. He therefore made it his care that in place 97of those whose worldly companionship he had formerly loved when occupied with profane study, he should now have Spiritual Brothers; for he desired that others also should be enkindled by that flame by which he himself was set on fire, and illumined by that light by which he was enlightened of God: and he was not backward in directing those who came to him both by words and the light of his example. Therefore he persuaded Clerks and lay folk who desire to serve God to flee from commerce with evil, to hasten to hear the Word of God, to follow after the lowliness of Christ, and to set the life of the Saints as the pattern before their eyes, seeing that through the grace of chastity and the observance of the precepts of the Lord they might gain an everlasting recompense.

(2) Nor was that labour profitless which he expended to gain souls, but an abundant increase grew therefrom, for many young men and maidens, relying on his wholesome counsels, leaving parents and friends, began to walk in the paths of humility and devotion, and hating the life of the world to associate themselves together in Christ after the Apostolic manner; and they rejoiced with eager hearts to keep a Common table, and to have meagre sustenance. Lastly he exhorted them severally to go forward in the steps of virtue, to pray more often; to labour with their hands in due season; to be instant in reading holy books, and in earnest meditation; for by these one shall gain increase of fervour in devotion, and shall have that ever-present dread of the occasions of sin that doth guard a man, that he be not seduced of the devil through the idleness of his heart.

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