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Chapter XXIX.—Continence of Christians.

And again [we fear to expose children], lest some of them be not picked up, but die, and we become murderers. But whether we marry, it is only that we may bring up children; or whether we decline marriage, we live continently. And that you may understand that promiscuous intercourse is not one of our mysteries, one of our number a short time ago presented to Felix the governor in Alexandria a petition, craving that permission might be given to a surgeon to make him an eunuch. For the surgeons there said that they were forbidden to do this without the permission of the governor. And when Felix absolutely refused to sign such a permission, the youth remained single, and was satisfied with his own approving conscience, and the approval of those who thought as he did. And it is not out of place, we think, to mention here Antinous, who was alive but lately, and whom all were prompt, through fear, to worship as a god, though they knew both who he was and what was his origin.18251825    For a sufficient account of the infamous history here alluded to and the extravagant grief of Hadrian, and the servility of the people, see Smith’s Dictionary of Biography: “Antinous.” [Note, “all were prompt, through fear,” etc. Thus we may measure the defiant intrepidity of this stinging sarcasm addressed to the “philosophers,” with whose sounding titles this Apology begins.]


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