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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. IV:
Life of Antony. (Vita Antoni.): Section 85

Early Church Fathers  Index     

85. At another time, suffering the same compulsion at the hands of them who had need, and after many entreaties from the commander of the soldiers, he came down, and when he was come he spoke to them shortly of the things which make for salvation, and concerning those who wanted him, and was hastening away. But when the duke, as he is called, entreated him to stay, he replied that he could not linger among them, and persuaded him by a pretty simile, sayp. 219 ing, ‘Fishes, if they remain long on dry land, die. And so monks lose their strength if they loiter among you and spend their time with you. Wherefore as fish must hurry to the sea, so must we hasten to the mountain. Lest haply if we delay we forget the things within us.’ And the general having heard this and many other things from him, was amazed and said, ‘Of a truth this man is the servant of God. For, unless he were beloved of God, whence could an ignorant man have such great understanding?’


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