1 The deacon Pontius, in hie life of Cyprian, in few words comprises the argument of the following treatise. "Who," says he, "would restrain virgins into a fitting discipline of modesty, and a dress meet for holiness, as if with a bridle of the Lord's lessons?"
2 After this he teaches from the Apostle, and from the third chapter of' Isaiah also, that distinctions of dress and ornaments are more suited to prostitutes than to virgins; and he infers that, while so many things are offensive to God, more especially are the sumptuous ornanients of women; and therefore making a transition from superfluous ornament to the different kinds of dyes and paints, he forbids such things, not only to virgins, but absolutely also to married women, who assuredly cannot with impunity strive to improve, to transfigure, and to adulterate God's work.
30 Perhaps this sentence would be more literally translated, "and the dress of no women is, generally speaking, more expensive than the dress of those whose modesty is cheap; " i.e., who have no modesty at all, or very little.
37 [The utterly intolerable paganism here exposed, and fully sustained by Martial and other Latin poets, accounts for much of the discipline of the early Church, and its excessive laudations of virginity.]
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