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A suitable repression of the natural appetites is profitable and necessary. We are told that the body should be brought into subjection. Those physical mortifications, therefore, which are instituted to this end, denominated austerities, are not to be disapproved. When practiced within proper limits, they tend to correct evil habits, to preserve us against temptation, and to give self-control.

The practice of austerities, with the views and on the principles indicated, should be accompanied with the spirit of recollection, of love, and prayer. Christ himself, whose retirement to solitary places, whose prayers and fastings are not to be forgotten, has given us the pattern which it is proper for us to follow. We must sometimes use force against our stubborn nature. "Since the days of John, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence; and the violent take it by force."

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