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

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter VI.—Divinity of Virginity.

The womb of a holy virgin 338 carried our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God; and the body p. 57 which our Lord wore, and in which He carried on the conflict in this world, He put on from a holy virgin.  From this, therefore, understand the greatness and dignity of virginity.  Dost thou wish to be a Christian?  Imitate Christ in everything.  John, the ambassador, he who came before our Lord, he “than whom there was not a greater among those born of women,” 339 the holy messenger of our Lord, was a virgin.  Imitate, therefore, the ambassador of our Lord, and be his follower 340 in every thing.  That John, again, who “reclined on the bosom of our Lord, and whom He greatly loved,” 341 —he, too, was a holy person. 342   For it was not without reason that our Lord loved him.  Paul, also, and Barnabas, and Timothy, with all the others, “whose names are written in the book of life,” 343 —these, I say, all cherished and loved sanctity, 344 and ran in the contest, and finished their course without blemish, as imitators of Christ, and as sons of the living God.  Moreover, also, Elijah and Elisha, and many other holy men, we find to have lived a holy 345 and spotless life.  If, therefore, thou desirest to be like these, imitate them with all thy power.  For the Scripture has said, “The elders who are among you, honour; and, seeing their manner of life and conduct, imitate their faith.” 346   And again it saith, “Imitate me, my brethren, as I imitate Christ.” 347


Footnotes

56:338

Or “the Holy Virgin.”

57:339

Matt. xi. 11.

57:340

Lit. “lover,” or “friend.”

57:341

John xxi. 20.

57:342

i.e., a virgin.

57:343

Phil. iv. 3.

57:344

i.e., virginity.

57:345

i.e., celibate, or chaste.

57:346

Heb. xiii. 7.

57:347

1 Cor. xi. 1.


Next: Chapter VII

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