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

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter X.—David’s Sin, So Admonitory to Us Weak Men.

Does not the case of David instruct thee, whom God “found a man after His heart,” 477 one faithful, faultless, pious, true?  This same man saw the beauty of a woman—I mean of Bathsheba—when he saw her as she was cleansing herself and washing unclothed.  This woman the holy man saw, and was thoroughly 478 captivated with desire by the sight of her. 479   See, then, what evils he committed because of a woman, and how this righteous man sinned, and gave command that the husband of this woman should be killed in battle.  Ye have seen what wicked schemes he laid and executed, and how, because of his passion for a woman, he perpetrated a murder—he, David, who was called “the anointed of the Lord.” 480   Be admonished, O man:  for, if such men as these have been brought to ruin through women, what is thy righteousness, or what art thou among the holy, that thou consortest with women and with maidens day and night, with much silliness, without fear of God?  Not thus, my brethren, not thus let us conduct ourselves; but let us be mindful of that word which is spoken concerning a woman:  “Her hands lay snares, and her heart spreadeth nets; but the just shall escape from her, whilst the wicked falleth into her hands.” 481   Therefore let us, who are consecrated, 482 be careful not to live in the same house with females who have taken the vow.  For such conduct as this is not becoming nor right for the servants of God.



1 Sam. 16:13, Ps. 89:20, Acts 13:22.


Lit. “verily.”


“By the pleasure derived from the sight of her.”—Beelen.


Ps. 18:50, 2 Sam. 19:21.


Eccl. vii. 26.


Lit. “holy.”

Next: Chapter XI

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