But whoever shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me…
The every-sided development of all our faculties, the inferior, as well as the more elevated, is certainly to be regarded as the highest attainment, yet he who finds by experience that he cannot cultivate certain faculties — the artistic for example — without injury to his holiest feelings, must renounce their cultivation, and make it his first business, with painstaking fidelity, to preserve entire the innermost life of his soul, that higher life imparted to him by Christ, and which, by the dividing and distracting of his thoughts, might easily be lost, nor must it give him any disturbance, if some subordinate faculty be thus wholly sacrificed by him. Assuredly, however, we must add, that this loss is only in appearance, for, in the development of man's higher life, everything of a subordinate kind which he had sacrificed is again restored with increase of power.
Parallel VersesKJV: But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
WEB: but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for him that a huge millstone should be hung around his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depths of the sea.