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brought before their court, and these rogues had her stand before them with her head uncovered so that they might satisfy their craving at least in looking on her beauty.”32 And thus they were unable to escape capital punishment. How much more when the last day comes! What, thinkest thou, will Christ do to those who have surrendered their own members to rape? The apostle has already shown the future in advance, saying: “Let no temp­ tation take hold of you, he says, save what is human!”33 O temptation to sen­ suality! Man is not able to control him­ self, and inflicts on himself the predicted fatal wounds! O exhalations of the flesh! The glowing fire hidden deep in the heart nourishes a conflagration! O ignoble fight, to strike root in a dark night! O tree of seducing fruit that shows thick foliage! O false lips, out of which honey drops and which in the end are as bitter as poison! O charming eloquence, the words of which shoot arrows into the heart! O madness of love: death fetters the young as a chain, whilst wisdom announces the future, that is, what it always orders: “Avoid, my son, every evil and every­ thing that resembles it.”34 And further: “And every man who takes part in a foot­ race abstains from all things that he may be able to obtain the crown that is pre­ pared for him.”35 Why takest thou, O man, a woman as a servant? Consider the conduct of (our) holy ancestors. Thus Elias, a noble man who still lives in the body, took a young man as servant, to whom also he left his mantle as a holy keepsake when he was taken up into paradise in a chariot of fire.36 There Enoch also lives in the body, who was carried away (there) in the first age. O holy dispensation of God, who has provided for the coming age! Enoch, the righteous, from among the first peo­ ple, was commissioned to commit to


writing the history of the first men, and the holy Elias (was given the task) of registering the new deeds of this later people! All that has thus to be construed ac­ cording to the condition of (our) time: each of the two springs from his own age, Enoch (as a symbol) of righteous­ ness and Elias (as a symbol) of holiness. But we must comply with the rule of our holiness, as the apostle says: “In body and spirit genus must resemble genus and the disciple the master.”37 And the spirit of Elias rested finally on Elisha. He also begged of him that he might immediately receive from him a double blessing like the one which (later) the Lord gave to his advanced disciples, saying, “He that be­ lieves on me will also do the works that I do, and will do greater works than these.”38 But such grace is granted only to those who fulfil the commandments of the Master. What should we now say? If Elisha served in the house of Elias to comply with the rule of propriety and the boy Gehazi assisted the (prophet) Elisha as Baruch (the prophet) Jeremiah, in or­ der to leave us an (instructive) remem­ brance, why does a man today take a woman as servant under a semblance of holiness? If it is a matter of a close rela­ tive, then that will do; but not if she is a strange woman. After the flood the sons of Noah looked for places for themselves where they might build cities, and they named them after their wives. Precisely so do these (men) now behave who are united (to women). O ascetics of God who look back at women to offer them gifts, to give them


Cf. Dan 13:32 (‘Susanna’ in Apocrypha). 33Cf. 1 Cor 10:13. 34Didache 3:1 351 Cor 9:25. 362 Kings 2:15. 37The source of this Paul-saying is unknown. 38 John 14:12

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