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Chapter XII.—The Fear and Love of God.

“Thus, then, grateful service to Him who is truly Lord, renders us free from service to all other masters.13451345    We have adopted an emendation of a passage which is plainly corrupt.  If, then, it is possible for any one to be free from sin without fearing God, let him not fear; for under the influence of love to Him one cannot do what is displeasing to Him.  For, on the one hand, it is written that we are to fear Him, and we have been commanded to love Him, in order that each of us may use that prescription which is suitable to his constitution.  Fear Him, therefore, because He is just; but whether you fear Him or love Him, sin not.  And may it be the case that any one who fears Him shall be able to gain the victory over unlawful desires, shall not lust after what belongs to others, shall practise kindness, shall be sober, and act justly!  For I see some who are imperfect in their fear of Him sinning very much.  Let us therefore fear God, not only because He is just; for it is through pity for those who have received injustice that He inflicts punishment on those who have done the injustice.  As water therefore quenches fire, so does fear extinguish the desire for evil practices.  He who teaches fearlessness does not himself fear; but he who does not fear, does not believe that there will be a judgment, strengthens his lusts, acts as a magician, and accuses others of the deeds which he himself does.”


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