But in so far as it is the custom to argue even from the Scriptures in opposition to truth, there is immediately urged against us the fact that "no mention of virgins is made by the apostle where he is prescribing about the veil, but that 'women' only are named; whereas, if he had willed virgins as well to be covered, he would have pronounced concerning 'virgins' also together with the 'women' named; just as," says (our opponent), "in that passage where he is treating of marriage,
abstinence; the former on account of the insidiousnesses of temptations, the latter on account of he straits of the times.
Chapter III.-Of Indulgence and Pure Volition. The Question Illustrated.
100 As he himself:
Et rursus cure dicit: "Bonum est homini uxorem non tangere, sed propter fornicationes unusquisque suam uxorem habeat; "
as being Himself, withal, a virgin; to whom looking, the apostle also-himself too for this reason abstinent-gives the preference to continence.
The very phases themselves of this (inexperience) are intelligible from (the apostle's) rescripts, when he says:
and with what an axe of censorship he lops, and eradicates, and extirpates, every forest of lusts, for fear of permitting aught to regain strength and sprout again; behold him desiring souls to keep a fast from the legitimate fruit of nature-the apple, I mean, of marriage: "But with regard to what ye wrote, good it is for a man to have no contact with a woman; but, on account of fornication, let each one have his own wife: let husband to wife, and wife to husband, render what is due."
1 Cor. 7:1 - NIV, NAB - in Cyprian Treatise XII Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews
But I wish that all men should be even as I am. But every one has his proper gift from God; one in one way, but another in another way."
desiring with all his might that believers in Christ should be chaste, endeavours by many arguments to show them the dignity of chastity, as when he says,
Come, now, and let us examine more carefully the very words which are before us, and observe that the apostle did not grant these things unconditionally to all, but first laid down the reason on account of which he was led to this. For, having set forth that "it is good for a man not to touch a woman,"
For the commandments of the law are twofold, and through prudence must they be fulfilled. For there is a season for a man to embrace his wife, and a season to abstain therefrom
Et rursus: "Unusquisque autem suam uxorem habeat, ne tenter vos Satanas."
he added immediately, "Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife"
and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment."
There would be no adulteries, and debaucheries, and prostitution of women, if it were known to all, that whatever is sought beyond the desire of procreation is condemned by God.
ut "vir reddat debiturn uxori, et uxor viro, et ne frustrentur invicem"
per dictionem, "fraudetis," ostendens matrimonii debitum esse liberorum procreationem: quod quidem in iis, quae praecedunt, ostendit, dicens: "Mulieri vir debitum reddat; similiter autem mulier quoque viro; "
What (of the fact) that she endured not to have been met alone; but in the presence of Adam, not yet her husband, not yet bound to lend her his ears,
But further, in another place he says: "That Satan tempt you not for your incontinence."
Quod autem "ex consensu ad tempus orationi vacat" conjugium, doctrina est continentiae. Adjecit enim illud quidem, "ex consensu," ne quis dissolveret matrimonium; "ad tempus autem,"
Ac proinde "episcopos," inquit, oportet constitui, qui ex domo propria toti quoque Ecclesiae prae esse sint meditati. "Unusquisque" ergo, "in quo vocatus est "
Et rursus de lege disserens, utens allegoria: "Nam quae sub viro est mulier," inquit, "viventi viro alligata est lege,"
Admodum certe circumspecte arcet per concessionem. Nam cum rursus permisit"simul convernire propter Satanam et intemperantiam,"
dicens, significavit eum, qui est omnipotens. Quod ab Apostolo autem subjungitur: "Etrursus simul convenite propter Satanam,"
id veluti exponens, rursus dicit: "Ne vos tentet Satanas."
An meretricem quis dicet virginem, priusquam nubat? "Et ne fraudetis," inquit, "vos invicem, nisi ex consensu ad tempus: "
, or of those who, by consent, have already renounced the common disgrace (which matrimony involves)?
, virginity from one's birth, that is, from the font; which (second virginity) either in the marriage state keeps (its subject) pure by mutual compact,
Accordingly, the apostle added (the recommendation of) a temporary abstinence for the sake of adding an efficacy to prayers,
For that it is proper to abstain from each other by consent, in order that they may be free for a season to give themselves to prayer, and then come together again, they have heard from Paul in his epistle.
And let all the virgins who believe stand in that house each day, watching over the sick, walking two and two; but let them have no communication with young men, that Satan may not tempt them:
And again: "But this I speak by permission, not by commandment."
them to remain permanently in that state, when he says, "But I desire all to persevere in (imitation of) my example: "
at he may gain those under the law, and to them that are without law as without law, not being without law to God, but under law to Christ, that he may gain those without law, and if to the weak he becomes weak that he may gain the weak, it is clear that these statements must be examined each by itself, that he becomes a Jew, and that sometimes he is under the law and at another time without law, and that sometimes he is weak. Where, for example, he says something by way of permission
annon virum et mulierem et filium tres dicit, quoniam mulier cum viro per Deum conjungitur? Quod si accinctus quis esse velit et expeditus, non volens procreate liberos, propter eam, quae est in procreandis liberis, molestiam et occupationem, "maneat," inquit Apostolus, absque uxore "ut ego."
says Homer. "But each has his own proper gift of God "
than the apostle, prohibits. For the apostle, although preferring the grace of continence,
therefore, who prefers that widows and unmarried women should persevere in their integrity, who exhorts us to a copy
," he says, "that you all so be as I too (am)."
And the same elsewhere says: "I wish that all of you, if it were possible, should be imitators of me."
Et: "Bonum est manere sicut ego."
For, withal, when he has laid down the definitive rule with reference to "the widowed and the unwedded," that they are to "marry if they cannot contain," because "better it is to marry than to burn,"
But when things lawful are (only) granted by way of indulgence, who hope for things unlawful? "To the unmarried" also, "and widows," he says, "It is good, by his example, to persevere" (in their present state); "but if they were too weak, to marry; because it is preferable to marry than to bum."
"I say therefore," he goes on,
ipse quoque "cadat." De secundis autum nuptiis: "Si uraris," inquit Apostolus, "jungere matrimonio."
Fortasse autem quoniam iis, qui juste vivunt, resistit propter aemulationem, et adversus eos contendit, volens eos ad suos ordines traducere, per laboriosam continentiam eis vult praebere occasionera. Merito ergo dicit: "Melius est matrimonio jungi quam uri,"
yet permits the contraction of marriage and the enjoyment of it,
t discipline in the persons of our females rather by defilements of the flesh than tortures; wishing to wrest from them that which they hold dearer than life! But now this glory is being extinguished, and that by means of those who ought with all the more constancy to refuse concession of any pardon to defilements of this kind, that they make the fear of succumbing to adultery and fornication their reason for marrying as often as they please-since "better it is to marry than to burn."
Rursus dicit Dominus: "Qui uxorem duxit, ne expellat; et qui non duxit, ne ducat; "
Et adhuc apertius, dicens: "Iis, qui sunt juncti matrimonio, praecipio, inquit, non ego, sed Dominus, uxorem a viro non sepamri; sin autem separata fuerit, maneat innupta, vel viro reconcilietur; et virum uxorem non dimittere. Reliquis autem dico ego, non Dominus: Si quis frater,"
about his catechumens), and when he prescribes repudiation of all engagements before marriage, whose teaching does he follow, that of Moses or of Christ? Even Christ,
however, when He here commands "the wife not to depart from her husband, or if she depart, to remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband,"
1 Cor. 7:10 - NIV, NAB - in Cyprian Treatise XII Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews
In the first Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians: "But to them that are married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not be separated from her husband; but if she should depart, that she remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and that the husband should not put away his wife."
But why say I these things concerning the Old Testament? For in the New also are the apostles found doing this very thing, on the ground which has been mentioned, Paul plainly declaring, But these things I say, not the Lord."
the ground of that passage of the first (Epistle) to the Corinthians, where it is written: If any of the brethren has an unbelieving wife, and she consents to the matrimony, let him not dismiss her; similarly, let not a believing woman, married to an unbeliever, if she finds her husband agreeable (to their continued union), dismiss him: for the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the believing wife, and the unbelieving wife by the believing husband; else were your children unclean."
"Every Scripture is inspired of God and profitable," does he include his own writings? Or does he not include his dictum,
And for this reason, Paul declares that the "unbelieving wife is sanctified by the believing husband."
Nam quaham ratione dicit Paulus apostolus esse "sanctificatam mulierem a viro," aut "virum a muliere? "
non solum in pariendo, sed etiam in discendo. Jam "sancti sunt filii,"
usque ad illud: "Nunc autem sancta est."
It was from this circumstance that the apostle said, that when either of the parents was sanctified, the children were holy; and this as much by the prerogative of the (Christian) seed as by the discipline of the institution (by baptism, and Christian education). "Else," says he, "were the children unclean" by birth:
by the faith in (the state of) Gentile marriage are not defiled (thereby) for this reason, that, together with themselves, others
So both the virgin and the unmarried woman consider those things which are the Lord's, that they may be holy both in body and spirit."
by the believer."
to persevere in their married state, and are sanctified, and have hope of "making a gain"
The very closing sentence of the period confirms (the supposition) that this is thus to be understood. "As each," it says, "is called by the Lord, so let him persevere."
"I say, and not the Lord," and
1 Cor. 7:18 - NIV, NAB - in Archelaus Acts of the Disputation with the Heresiarch Manes
Or is any in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised. For neither of these is anything, but only the keeping of the commandments of God."
Then, as to the argument they have the hardihood to bring even from the Scriptures, "that the apostle has said, `As each has been found, so let him persevere.'"
not to say such a request as that (forsooth) their rivals-all the more "free" in that they are the "hand-maids" of Christ alone
And again: "Now, as concerning virgins, I have no commandment from the Lord; yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful."
[Keep the commandments of the Lord, and you will be approved, and inscribed amongst the number of those who observe His commands.] And if you do any good beyond what is commanded by God,
I have now brought to an end what I have to say respecting continence and marriage and chastity, and intercourse with men, and in which of these there is help towards progress in righteousness; but it still remains to speak concerning virginity-if, indeed, anything be prescribed on this subject. Let us then treat this subject also; for it stands thus:
Concerning virginity we have received no commandment;
Now, if in all cases he says it is best for a man thus to be; "Thou art joined to a wife seek not loosing" (that you may give no occasion to adultery); "thou art loosed from a wife, seek not a wife," that you may reserve an opportunity for yourself: "but withal, if thou shalt have married a wife, and if a virgin shall have married, she sinneth not; pressure, however, of the flesh such shall have,"-even here he is granting a permission by way of "sparing them."
Idem autem ilia quoque scribit: "Alligatus es uxori? ne quaeras solutionem. Solutus es ab uxore? ne quaeras uxorem."
and advises the continuance therein rather than the dissolution there of.
restore what God has put an end to? Why do you, by repeating the servitude of matrimony, spurn the liberty which is offered you? "You have been bound to a wife,"
sap the apostle; "seek not loosing. You have been loosed from a wife;
However, touching second marriage, we know plainly that the apostle has pronounced: "Thou t been loosed from a wife; seek not a wife. But if thou shalt marry, thou wilt not sin."
For I would have you without anxiety, in order to decorum and assiduity for the Lord, without distraction."
" in re-marrying, still he says "pressure of the flesh ensues."
for this is acceptable to God, he does not wish these things to be said as by authority, and as the mind of the Lord, with reference to the giving of a virgin in marriage; for after he had said,
So, immediately after he had said, "if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned," he added, "such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you."
Explaining this more clearly, he adds," It remains that they that have wives be as though they had none, and they that buy as though they possessed not."
Thus also the apostle says, "that he who marries should be as though he married not,"
-it will be His prerogative to fix the limit Who had once been diffuse in His permission; His to gather, Who once scattered; His to cut down the tree, Who planted it; His to reap the harvest, Who sowed the seed; His to declare, "It remaineth that they who have wives be as though they had none,"
both permitted divorce, which indeed He never absolutely prohibited, and confirmed (the sanctity) of marriage, by first forbidding its dissolution; and, if separation had taken place, by wishing the nuptial bond to be resumed by reconciliation. But what reasons does (the apostle) allege for continence? Because "the time is short."
and again, "This I say, brethren, that the time is short"
Why so? Because he had laid down the premiss, saying, "The time is wound up."
If, then he shows plainly that even wives themselves are so to be had as if they be not had,
were detestable before Him? "The time," says (the apostle), "is compressed.
It remaineth that they who have wives
" It follows that it is evil to have contact with her; for nothing is contrary to good except evil. And accordingly (he says), "It remains, that both they who have wives so be as if they have not,"
), impose by this time a final bridle upon the flesh, no longer obliquely calling us away from marriage, but openly; since now more (than ever) "the time is become wound up,"
1 Cor. 7:29 - NIV, NAB - in Cyprian Treatise XII Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews
It remaineth, therefore, that both they who have wives be as though they have them not, and they who lament as they that lament not, and they that rejoice as they that rejoice not, and they who buy as they that buy not, and they who possess as they who possess not, and they who use this world as they that use it not; for the fashion of this world passeth away."
But yet if it shall please you who find chastity hard to bear, rather to turn to marriage; I consider it to be profitable for you to restrain yourselves in the gratification of the flesh, not making your marriage an occasion for abusing your own vessels to uncleanness." Then he adds,
But those who are goaded on by their lusts, although they do not commit fornication, yet who, even in the things which are permitted with a lawful wife, through the heat of unsubdued concupiscence are excessive in embraces, how shall they celebrate the feast? how shall they rejoice, who have not adorned their tabernacle, that is their flesh, with the boughs of the Agnos, nor have listened to that which has been said; that "they that have wives be as though they had none? "
blessed are they that have wives as not having them, for they shall receive God for their portion:
He saith, that brother seeing sister may have no thought concerning her as female, and that she may have no thought concerning him as male. "If ye do these things, saith He, "the kingdom of my Father shall come."
And refrain from much business, and you will never sin: for they who are occupied with much business commit also many sins, being distracted about their affairs, and not at all serving their Lord.
And the apostle again warns us, and says, "And they that buy, as though they bought not; and they that possess, as though they possessed not; and they that use this world, as though they used it not. For the fashion of this world passeth away."
And they are also unacquainted with [the meaning of] the passing away of the heaven and earth; but Paul was not ignorant of it when he declared, "For the figure of this world passeth away."
Now this is what has been said by the apostle: "For the fashion of this world passeth away."
of the world passeth away; "
He cannot hope for the kingdom of the heavens, whose finger or wand abuses
Let, then, the flesh begin to give you pleasure, since the Creator thereof is so great. But, you say, even the world is the work of God, and yet "the fashion of this world passeth away,"
"Why, shall we not use what is our own? "Who prohibits your using it? Yet (it must be) in accordance with the apostle, who warns us "to use this world
And Paul seems to confirm the latter view, when he says, "For the fashion of this world passeth away."
That universe which is bounded by heaven and earth is also called a world, as Paul declares: "For the fashion of this world will pass away."
manifestly announces the end of the world; as he does also when he again says, "The fashion of this world passeth away."
we answer, because it is usual for the Scriptures to call the change of the world from its present condition to a better and more glorious one, destruction; as its earlier form is lost in the change of all things to a state of greater splendour; for there is no contradiction nor absurdity in the Holy Scriptures. For not "the world" but the "fashion of this world" passeth away,
for Thine is the power and the glory for ever. 6. Let grace come, and let this world pass away.
and "the fashion of this world passeth away,"
" Quid vero? annon licet etiam eis, qui secundum Deum placent uxori, Deo gratias agere? Annon permittitur etiam el, qui uxorem duxit, una cam conjugio etiam esse sollicitum de iis quae sunt Domini? Sed quemadmodum "quae non nupsit, sollicita est de iis, quae sunt Domini, ut sit sancta corpore et spiritu: "
. Be ye without carefulness,
If we look deeply into his meanings, and interpret them, second marriage will have to be termed no other than a species of fornication. For, since he says that married persons make this their solicitude, "how to please one another"
He renders reasons, likewise, for so advising: that the unmarried think about God, but the married about how, in (their) marriage, each may please his (partner).
1 Cor. 7:32 - NIV, NAB - in Cyprian Treatise XII Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews
Thus also, both the woman and the unmarried virgin thinketh of those things which are the Lord's, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit; but she that hath married thinks of those things which are of this world, in what way she may please her husband."
" And again, going on and challenging them to the same things, he confirmed his statement, powerfully supporting the state of virginity, and adding expressly the following words to those which he had spoken before, he exclaimed,
"virgins" (as he does in another place
and sets on the virgin the seal
As if I were speaking to Gentiles, addressing you with a Gentile precept, and (one which is) common to all, (I would say, ) "You are bound to please your husbands only."
ings which are honourable, and be distinguished among the foremost for wisdom and addicted to nothing slothful or luxurious, but should excel, and set her mind upon things worthy of the state of virginity, always putting away, by the word, the foulness of luxury, lest in any way some slight hidden corruption should breed the worm of incontinence; for "the unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord," how she may please the Lord, "that she may be holy both in body and in spirit,"
For then am I plainly consecrated altogether to the Lord, when I not only strive to keep the flesh untouched by intercourse, but also unspotted by other kinds of unseemliness. For "the unmarried woman," it is said,
Let such a virgin, therefore, be holy in body and soul, as the temple of God,
"When anger comes upon you, or harshness, know that he is in you; and you will know this to be the case also, when you are attacked by a longing after many transactions,
and be followers after the better rewards. Thus, albeit he does not "east a snare
which is suitable to moderation and modesty, Presume, I pray you, that you have need of nothing if you "attend upon the Lord; "
1 Cor. 7:35 - NIV, NAB - in Archelaus Acts of the Disputation with the Heresiarch Manes
your own salvation. For I do not "cast a snare upon any one,"
as not to perceive in this statement the higher praise which Paul accords to chastity? "And this," he says,
Wherefore he rejects those of the more incontinent, who, under the influence of vain-glory, would advance to this state, advising them to marry, lest in their time of manly strength, the flesh stirring up the desires and passions, they should be goaded on to defile the soul. For let us consider what he lays down:
But for him who of his own free will and purpose decides to preserve his flesh in virgin purity, "having no necessity,"
" "Why, then, sir," I said, "do all these trees bear fruit, and some of them fairer than the rest? ""Listen," he said: "all who once suffered for the name of the Lord are honourable before God; and of all these the sins were remitted, because they suffered for the name of the Son of God.
Right mystically and sacredly the apostle, teaching us the choice which is truly gracious, not in the way of rejection of other things as bad, but so as to do things better than what is good, has spoken, saying, "So he that giveth his virgin in marriage doeth well; and he that giveth her not doeth better; as far as respects seemliness and undistracted attendance on the Lord."
Thus he pronounces that the "preserver of a virgin" doeth" better" than her "giver in marriage."
in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth bet ter."
And I said, "If a wife or husband die, and the widower or widow marry, does he or she commit sin? ""There is no sin in marrying again," said he; "but if they remain unmarried, they gain greater honour and glory with the Lord; but if they marry, they do not sin.
Et rursus: "Mulletest alligata, quandiu vivit vir ejus; sin autem mortuus fuerit, libera est ut nubat, modo in Domino. Beata est autem si sic permanserit, mea quidem sententia."
Sed in priore quidem particula, "mortificati estis," inquit, "legi," non matrimonio, "ut efficiamini vos alteri, qui excitatus est ex mortuis,"
You have the law from the patriarchs indeed; you have the apostle enjoining people to marry in the Lord.
You degrade your god, O Marcion, when you make him circumscribed at all by the Creator's time. Assuredly also, when (the apostle) rules that marriage should be "only in the Lord,"
Further, if we set down in order the higher and happier grades of bodily patience, (we find that)it is she who is entrusted by holiness with the care of continence of the flesh: she keeps the widow,
Let us now turn our attention to the next best advice, in regard of human infirmity; admonished hereto by the examples of certain, who, when an opportunity for the practice of Continence has been offered them, by divorce, or by the decease of the husband, have not only thrown away the opportunity of attaining so great a good, but not even in their remarriage have chosen to be mindful of the rule that "above all
Again, the woman, if intending to marry, has to marry "in the Lord; "
You ought to take more pains to please him for whose sake you have not preferred to please God! Such (conduct) the Psychics will have it the apostle approved, or else totally failed to think about, when he wrote: "The woman is bound for such length of time as her husband liveth; but if he shall have died, she is free; whom she will let her marry, only in the Lord."
1 Cor. 7:39 - NIV, NAB - in Cyprian Treatise XII Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews
Also in the first Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians: "The woman is bound so long as her husband liveth; but if he die, she is freed to marry whom she will, only in the Lord. But she will be happier if she abide thus."
And he who wishes to interpret these things figuratively will say that, just as it was said by Paul confident in the grace which he had, "A wife is bound for so long time as her husband liveth, but if the husband be dead she is free to be married to whom she will, only in the Lord; but she is happier if she abide as she is, after my judgment, and I think that I also have the Spirit of God"
But this also, "A wife is bound for so long time as her husband liveth, but if her husband be dead, she is free to be married to whom she will, only in the Lord,"
Concerning Him he exultingly says: "And I think also that I have the Spirit of God."
1 Cor. 7:40 - NIV, NAB - in Pseudo-Gregory Thaumaturgus A Sectional Confession of Faith
"And I think also that I have the Spirit of God."
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