Difference between Christian and Pagan ascetism (G. K. Chersterton)

The essential difference between Christian and Pagan ascetism lies in the fact that Paganism in renouncing pleasure, gives up something which it does not think desirable; wheareas Christianity in giving up pleasure gives up something which it thinks is very desirable indeed. There is a frenzy in Christian ascetism; its follies and renunciations are like those of first love.
(Gilbert Keith Chersterton, G. F. Watts, The Ballantyne Press, London, 1904, p. 32)

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