Eugene develops his image of the sinner being like a cart stuck in the mud that necessitates great force to get it out of the mud, and then gentleness in the confessional to begin the healing process of conversion.
In the same way the preacher of the Gospel, is saddened at the sight of sinners sinking in the dreadful quagmire of their evil deeds, bogged down with no desire of getting out. They futilely try all that their gentle charity inspires them to do to have them return onto the way.
Finally seeing their obstinate determination to be lost, the preachers make the most frightening truths re-echo in their ears. They arm themselves with the whip of the holy Word, and increase their blows until at last with a huge effort these sinners get out of the mud and free themselves, etc.
Then it is with open arms that the ministers of Jesus Christ press them close to their hearts and take delight in pouring ointment on all their wounds to ease them.
Instruction at the Madeleine, preached in Provencal, on the fourth Sunday of Lent
O.W. XV: 115
(Note: In his enthusiasm Eugene got carried away in writing, and the first two paragraphs above form one uninterrupted sentence! For the sake of clarity I have broken it up into four sentences. The use of “etc.” in the text shows that this is a point which he would freely develop as he spoke.)