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Chapter XLIII.—A Word of Exhortation.

And when he had said this, he looked to our father, and said:  “You therefore, old man, if indeed you care for your soul’s safety, that when you desire to be separated from the body, it may, in consequence of this short conversion, find eternal rest, ask about whatever you please, and seek counsel, that you may be able to cast off any doubt that remains in you.  For even to young men the time of life is uncertain; but to old men it is not even uncertain, for there is no doubt that there is but little time remaining to them.  And therefore both young and old ought to be very earnest about their conversion and repentance, and to be taken up with the adornment of their souls for the future with the worthiest ornaments, such as the doctrines of truth, the grace of chastity, the splendour of righteousness, the fairness of piety, and all other things with which it becomes a reasonable mind to be adorned.  Then, besides, they should break off from unseemly and unbelieving companions, and keep company with the faithful, and frequent those assemblies in which subjects are handled relating to chastity, righteousness and piety; to pray to God always heartily, and to ask of Him those things which ought to be asked of God; to give thanks to Him; to repent truly of their past 204doings; in some measure also, if possible, by deeds of mercy towards the poor, to help their penitence:  for by these means pardon will be more easily bestowed, and mercy will be sooner shown to the merciful.

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