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Chapter V.—The Reward of Virginity.

These, O fair virgins, are the orgies of our mysteries; these the mystic rites of those who are initiated in virginity; these the “undefiled rewards”26772677    Wisd. iv. 2. of the conflict of virginity. I am be331trothed to the Word, and receive as a reward the eternal crown of immortality and riches from the Father; and I triumph in eternity, crowned with the bright and unfading flowers of wisdom. I am one in the choir with Christ dispensing His rewards in heaven, around the unbeginning and never-ending King. I have become the torch-bearer of the unapproachable lights,26782678    Although the Greek word is not the same as in 1 Tim. vi. 16, the meaning is probably this rather than unquenchable, as it is rendered in the Latin.—Tr. [See Discourse XI. cap. 2, infra.] and I join with their company in the new song of the archangels, showing forth the new grace of the Church; for the Word says that the company of virgins always follow the Lord, and have fellowship with Him wherever He is. And this is what John signifies in the commemoration of the hundred and forty-four thousand.26792679    Rev. vii. 4; xiv. 4.

Go then, ye virgin band of the new ages. Go, fill your vessels with righteousness, for the hour is coming when ye must rise and meet the bridegroom. Go, lightly leaving on one side the fascinations and the pleasures of life, which confuse and bewitch the soul; and thus shall ye attain the promises, “This I swear by Him who has shown me the way of life.” This crown, woven by the prophets, I have taken from the prophetic meadows, and offer to thee, O Arete.

Agathe having thus admirably brought her discourse to an end, she said, and having been applauded for what she had uttered, Arete again commanded Procilla to speak. And she, rising and passing before the entrance, spoke thus.


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