unbelievers in manifold ways, in peril in cities, in peril among Gentiles, in peril in the wilderness, in peril among false brethren; in trouble and labor, frequently in sorrow, in many watchings, in hunger and thirst, in many fastings, in cold and nakedness, in inward anxieties, besides the cares which do not have direct refer ence to my personal suffering. And in all these I have not lost courage, because Christ was and still is with me.”9 Oh, through how much trouble does man attain to glory! Besides there is the word of the Lord, who says: “Whom I love, he says, I rebuke and chasten”10 that the righteous man may be tested as gold in the crucible. What bodily joy can there be then in the life to come if the word of the Lord runs: “Oh! as a virgin, as a woman, so is the mystery of resurrection (which) you have shown to me, you who in the beginning of the world did institute vain feasts for yourselves and delighted in the wantonness of the Gentiles and behaved in the same way as those who take delight therein.” Behold what sort of young maidens there are among you! But come and ponder over this, that there is one who tries the soul and a last day of retribution and persecution. Where then art thou now, thou who hast passed the time of thy youth happily with a sinner, the apostle testifying more over that “neither ﬂesh nor blood will possess the kingdom of God?”11 And again the law runs: “let not a man glory in his strength, but rather let him trust in the Lord,”12 and Jeremiah says: “Accursed is he who puts his hope in man.”13 And in the Psalms it is said: “It is better to trust in the Lord than to rely on men.”14 Why then art thou not afraid to abandon the Lord and to trust in a man who in the last judgment will not save thee but rather destroy? Consider and take note of the happening about which
the following account informs us: “A peasant had a girl who was a virgin. She was also his only daughter, and therefore he besought Peter to offer a prayer for her. After he had prayed, the apostle said to the father that the Lord would bestow upon her what was expedient for her soul. Immediately, the girl fell down dead. O reward worthy and ever pleasing to God, to escape the shamelessness of the ﬂesh and to break the pride of the blood! But this distrustful old man, failing to recog nise the worth of the heavenly grace, i.e., the divine blessing, besought Peter again that his only daughter be raised from the dead. And some days later, after she had been raised, a man who passed himself off as a believer came into the house of the old man to stay with him, and seduced the girl, and the two of them never ap peared again.” For the man who dishonors his own body makes himself like the godless. And therefore the dwelling-place of the god less cannot be found out, as David says: “I sought him but he was nowhere to be found,”15 as also in the (mentioned) case of death those two did not dare (to ap pear) any more. Thou oughtest then, O virgin, to fear the judgment of this law: “If,” says Moses, “a betrothed virgin is caught unawares with another man, let the two of them be brought before the court of the elders and be condemned to death.”16 These happenings have been recorded for us on whom the end of this age has come. One thing stands fast: should a virgin who is betrothed to Christ be caught unawares with another man, let them both be committed for ﬁnal sen
2 Cor 11:23ff. 23. 13Jer 17:5. 23.
Rev 3:19. Ps 118:8.
1 Cor 15:50. 12Jer 9: Ps 37:36. 16Deut 22: