From St. Athanasius . . .
(Athanasius speaks of the desire of Christ to cleanse us by His Word and produce fruit in our lives.)
And our Lord Jesus Christ, being good and a lover of men, came that He might cast [fire] upon earth, and said, 'And what? would that it were already kindled!' For He desired, as He testified in Ezekiel, the repentance of a man rather than his death: so that evil should be entirely consumed in all men, that the soul, being purified, might be able to bring forth fruit; for the word which is sown by Him will be productive, some thirty, some sixty, some an hundred.
[from Festal Letters of Athanasius: Letter III [331 AD], §4
in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 4, p. 514]