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W.H. MILL

Our Saviour's fast, like every act of His life, bears the character of an example, and instructs us that this particular exercise of religion, while it exposes to temptations of its own, is yet in itself a great preliminary safeguard against sin--a source of facility for vanquishing all temptation. That there are demoniacal possessions which no means without this can reach effectually, is the express assertion of our Saviour on another occasion: and His example here, no less than His precept to His chosen followers there, instructs us forcibly that, while Christianity is the most mild and liberal of institutions, its founder, no preacher in the desert like Elias, or His forerunner the Baptist, but one who came "eating and drinking," as His censors remarked, neither fearfully flying nor morosely disdaining the ordinary converse and habits of mankind,--it yet requires the highest prudence and assistances of grace proportional, to maintain this intercourse with the world either with safety to ourselves or benefit to others: and these assistances are to be found where our Lord and Saviour Himself sought them--in occasional retirements, in meditation, prayer, and fasting.
      - [Lent]


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