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famous temptations

Athanasius, writing a life of his contemporary St Anthony of Egypt, describes the temptations sent by the devil to plague the saint in the desert:

'The enemy would suggest filthy thoughts, but Anthony would dissipate them by his prayers. The wretched devil even dared to masquerade as a woman by night. It was as though demons were breaking through the four walls of the little chamber and bursting through them in the form of beasts and reptiles. All at once the place was filled with the phantoms of lions, bears, leopards, bulls, of serpents and asps, of scorpions and wolves. Anthony said: "It is a sign of your helplessness that you ape the forms of brutes"'.

Quoted Bamber Gascoigne The Christians, Cape 1977, page 50

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