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Chapter IX.

Of their Shoes.

But refusing shoes, as forbidden by the command of the gospel, if bodily weakness or the morning cold in winter or the scorching heat of midday compels them, they merely protect their feet with sandals, explaining that by the use of them and the Lord’s permission it is implied that if, while we are still in this world we cannot be completely set free from care and anxiety about the flesh, nor can we be altogether released from it, we should at least provide for the wants of the body with as little fuss and as slight an entanglement as possible: and as for the feet of our soul which ought to be ready for our spiritual race and always prepared for preaching the peace of the gospel (with which feet we run after the odour of the ointments of Christ, and of which David says: “I ran in thirst,” and Jeremiah: “But I am not troubled, following Thee”), 662 we ought not to suffer them to be entangled in the deadly cares of this world, filling our thoughts with those things which concern not the supply of the wants of nature, but unnecessary and harmful pleasures. And this we shall thus fulfil if, as the Apostle advises, we “make not provision for the flesh with its lusts.” 663 But though lawfully enough they make use of these sandals, as permitted by the Lord’s command, yet they never suffer them to remain on their feet when they approach to celebrate or to receive the holy mysteries, as they think that they ought to observe in the letter that which was said to Moses and to Joshua, the son of Nun: “Loose the latchet of thy shoe: for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” 664



Ps. 62:5, Jer. 17:16 (lxx.).


Rom. xiii. 14.


Exod. 3:5, Josh. 5:16.

Next: Chapter X. Of the modification in the observances which may be permitted in accordance with the character of the climate or the custom of the district.