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| Exhortation to the Cultivation of Virginity; A Passage from the Apocalypse is Proposed to Be Examined. |
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Chapter IV.—Exhortation to the Cultivation of Virginity; A
Passage from the Apocalypse2713 is Proposed to Be Examined.
Now, then, O Virgins, daughters of undefiled temperance,
let us strive for a life of blessedness and the kingdom of
heaven. And do ye unite with those before you in an earnest
desire for the same glory of chastity, caring little for the
things of this life.
For immortality and chastity do not contribute a little to happiness,
raising up the flesh aloft, and drying up its moisture and its
clay-like weight, by a greater force of attraction. And let not
the uncleanness which you hear creep in and weigh you down to the
earth; nor let sorrow transform your joy, melting away your hopes in
better things; but shake off incessantly the calamities which come upon
you, not defiling your mind with lamentations. Let faith conquer
wholly, and let its light drive away the visions of evil which crowd
around the heart. For, as when the moon brightly shining fills
the heaven with its light, and all the air becomes clear, but suddenly
the clouds from the west, enviously rushing in, for a little while
overshadow its light, but do not destroy it, since they are immediately
driven away by a blast of the wind; so ye also, when causing the light
of chastity to shine in the world, although pressed upon by afflictions
and labours, do not grow weary and abandon your hopes. For the
clouds which come from the Evil One are driven away by the
if ye, like
your Mother, who gives birth to the male Virgin in heaven, fear nothing
the serpent that lies in wait and plots against you; concerning whom I
intend to discourse to you more plainly; for it is now time.
| 2714 The
same word in the text which is translated wind: πνεῦμα.
The play upon the word cannot be preserved in the
John, in the course of the Apocalypse,
there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun,
and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve
stars: and she, being with child, cried, travailing in birth, and
pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in
heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten
horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the
third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the
earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to
be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And
she brought forth a man-child, who was to rule all nations with a rod
of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to His
throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a
place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two
hundred and threescore days.” So far we have given, in
brief, the history of the woman and the dragon. But to search out
and explain the solution of them is beyond my powers.
Nevertheless, let me venture, trusting in Him who commanded to search
then, you agree with this, it will not be difficult to undertake it;
for you will quite pardon me, if I am unable sufficiently to explain
the exact meaning of the Scripture.
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