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LXIX.—To God’s Shepherds.

A shepherd, if he shall have confessed, has doubled his conflict.  Moreover, the apostle bids that such should be teachers.  Let him be a patient ruler; let him know when he may relax the reins; let him terrify at first, and then anoint with honey; and let him first observe to do himself what he says.  The shepherd who minds worldly things is esteemed in fault, against whose countenance thou mightest dare to say anything.  Gehenna itself bubbles up in hell with rumours.  Woe to the wretched people which wavers with doubtful brow! if such a shepherd shall be present to it, it is almost ruined.  But a devout man restrains it, governing rightly.  The swarms are rejoiced under suitable kings; in such there is hope, and the entire Church lives.

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