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Chapter I.—Exhortations to earnestness and moderation.

I Exhort thee in God, that thou add [speed] to thy course, and that thou vindicate thy dignity. Have a care to preserve concord with the saints. Bear [the burdens of] the weak, that “thou mayest fulfil the law of Christ.”12661266    Gal. vi. 2. Devote12671267    Literally, “having leisure for.” thyself to fasting and prayer, but not beyond measure, lest thou destroy thyself12681268    Literally, “cast thyself down.” thereby. Do not altogether abstain from wine and flesh, for these things are not to be viewed with abhorrence, since [the Scripture] saith, “Ye shall eat the good things of the earth.”12691269    Isa. i. 19. And again, “Ye shall eat flesh even as herbs.”12701270    Gen. ix. 3. And again, “Wine maketh glad the heart of man, and oil exhilarates, and bread strengthens him.”12711271    Ps. civ. 15. But all are to be used with moderation, as being the gifts of God. “For who shall eat or who shall drink without Him? For if anything be beautiful, it is His; and if anything be good, it is His.”12721272    Eccl. ii. 25 (after LXX.); Zech. ix. 17. Give attention to reading,12731273    Comp. 1 Tim. iv. 13. that thou mayest not only thyself know the laws, but mayest also explain them to others, as the earnest servant12741274    Literally, “athlete.” of God. “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier; and if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned except he strive lawfully.”12751275    2 Tim. ii. 4. I that am in bonds pray that my soul may be in place of yours.

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