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    PAGAN AND PAPAL PENANCE

    That is not Christianity at all. It is heathenism. How much more Christianity is there in that than in the case of the man who puts pebbles into his boots and goes on a pilgrimage, so that the worse he can make himself feel now, the better he will feel when his journey is ended? The only difference is in the sort of penance we endure. We take this duty and that as scourges with which to afflict ourselves, thinking we are working out everlasting joy for ourselves by and by.CRCH 3.3

    We have all done more or less of this. One it is human nature. That is the devil’s way of deceiving people. He does not care how many crosses we endure. In fact, he must thoroughly enjoy seeing people groaning over their religion, and having a hard time of it generally.CRCH 3.4

    Now all these things we have been labouring over may be things that God requires us to do. He doesn’t require us to scourge ourselves with whips, or to go on pilgrimages on our knees; but the only difference between ourselves, when we have made burdens of our duties, and the man who has scourged himself or worn a hair shirt, is that we make our penances out of those things which God requires, and he makes his out of those things which the Lord has not required. Yet we have thought we were better than he!CRCH 3.5

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