Then said Jesus to his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
This is only one meaning of religion. If I should say of a garden, "It is a place fenced in," what idea would you have of its clusters of roses, and pyramids of honeysuckles, and beds of odorous flowers, and rows of blossoming shrubs and fruit-bearing trees? If I should say of a cathedral, "It is built of stone, cold stone," what idea would you have of its wondrous carvings, and its gorgeous openings for door and window, and its evanescing spire? Now, if you regard religion merely as self-denial, you stop at the fence, and see nothing of the beauty of the garden; you think only of the stone, and not of the marvellous beauty into which it is fashioned.
(H. W. Beecher.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.