VIII.-Other Fragments from Antonius Melissa.
Repentance then becomes capable of wiping out every sin, when on the occurrence of the soul's fault it admits no delay, and does not let the impulse pass on to a long space of time. For it is in this way that evil will be unable to leave a trace in us, being plucked away at the moment of its assault like a newly planted plant.
As the creatures called crabs are easy to catch, from their going sometimes forward and sometimes backward; so also the soul, which at one time is laughing, at another weeping, and at another giving way to luxury, can do no good.
He who is sometimes grieving, and is sometimes enjoying himself and laughing, is like a man pelting the dog of voluptuousness with bread, who chases it in appearance, but in fact invites it to remain near him.
Some flatterers were congratulating a wise man. He said to them, If you stop praising me, I think myself something great after your departure; but if you do not stop praising me, I guess my own impurity.
Feigned praise is worth less than true censure.
To the weak and infirm, what is moderate appears excessive.
The reproof that is given with knowledge is very faithful. Sometimes also the knowledge of those who are condemned is found to be the most perfect demonstration.
To the man who exalts and magnifies himself is attached the quick transition and the fall to low estate, as the divine word teaches.
Pure speech and a spotless life are the throne and true temple of God.