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Chapter V.—Some Refinements in Dress and Personal Appearance Lawful, Some Unlawful.  Pigments Come Under the Latter Head.

These suggestions are not made to you, of course, to be developed into an entire crudity and wildness of appearance; nor are we seeking to persuade you of the good of squalor and slovenliness; but of the limit and norm and just measure of cultivation of the person.  There must be no overstepping of that line to which simple and sufficient refinements limit their desires—that line which is pleasing to God.  For they who rub176176    Urgent.  Comp. de Pæn., c. xi. their skin with medicaments, stain their cheeks with rouge, make their eyes prominent with antimony,177177    “Fuligine,” lit. “soot.”  Comp. b. i. c. ii. sin against Him.  To them, I suppose, the plastic skill178178    See c. ii. ad fin. of God is displeasing!  In their own persons, I suppose, they convict, they censure, the Artificer of all things!  For censure they do when they amend, when 21they add to, (His work;) taking these their additions, of course, from the adversary artificer.  That adversary artificer is the devil.179179    Comp. b. i. c. viii.  For who would show the way to change the body, but he who by wickedness transfigured man’s spirit?  He it is, undoubtedly, who adapted ingenious devices of this kind; that in your persons it may be apparent that you, in a certain sense, do violence to God.  Whatever is born is the work of God.  Whatever, then, is plastered on180180    Infingitur. (that), is the devil’s work.  To superinduce on a divine work Satan’s ingenuities, how criminal is it!  Our servants borrow nothing from our personal enemies:  soldiers eagerly desire nothing from the foes of their own general; for, to demand for (your own) use anything from the adversary of Him in whose hand181181    i.e., subject to whom. you are, is a transgression.  Shall a Christian be assisted in anything by that evil one?  (If he do,) I know not whether this name (of “Christian”) will continue (to belong) to him; for he will be his in whose lore he eagerly desires to be instructed.  But how alien from your schoolings182182    Disciplinis. and professions are (these things)!  How unworthy the Christian name, to wear a fictitious face, (you,) on whom simplicity in every form is enjoined!—to lie in your appearance, (you,) to whom (lying) with the tongue is not lawful!—to seek after what is another’s, (you,) to whom is delivered (the precept of) abstinence from what is another’s!—to practise adultery in your mien,183183    Species. (you,) who make modesty your study!  Think,184184    Credite. blessed (sisters), how will you keep God’s precepts if you shall not keep in your own persons His lineaments?


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