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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VIII:
Two Epistles Concerning Virginity.: Chapter IV

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter IV.—Continuation of the Remarks on Self-Denial; Object and Reward of True Virgins.

For he who covets for himself these things so great and excellent, withdraws and severs himself on this account from all the world, that he may go and live a life divine and heavenly, like the holy angels, in work pure and holy, and “in the holiness 319 of the Spirit of God,” 320 and that he may serve God Almighty through Jesus Christ for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.  On this account he severs himself from all the appetites of the body.  And not only does he excuse himself from this command, “Be fruitful, and multiply,” but he longs for the “hope promised” and prepared “and laid up in heaven” 321 by God, who has declared with His mouth, and He does not lie, that it is “better than sons and daughters,” 322 and that He will give to virgins a notable place in the house of God, which is something “better than sons and daughters,” and better than the place of those who have passed a wedded life in sanctity, and whose “bed has not been defiled.” 323   For God will give to virgins the kingdom of heaven, as to the holy angels, by reason of this great and noble profession.


Footnotes

56:319

“Sanctification.”—Beelen.  [So A.V.  The R.V. correctly renders ἁγιασμός, “sanctification,” in every instance.—R.]

56:320

2 Thess. ii. 13.

56:321

Col. i. 5.

56:322

Isa. 56:4, 5.

56:323

Heb. xiii. 4.


Next: Chapter V

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