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Chapter III.—True Virgins Prove Themselves Such by Self-Denial, as Does the True Believer by Good Works.

For virgins are a beautiful pattern to believers, and to those who shall believe.  The name alone, indeed, without works, does not introduce into the kingdom of heaven; but, if a man be truly a believer, such an one can be saved.  For, if a person be only called a believer in name, whilst he is not such in works, he cannot possibly be a believer.  “Let no one,” therefore, “lead you astray with the empty words of error.”305305    Eph. v. 6.  For, merely because a person is called a virgin, if he be destitute of works excellent and comely, and suitable to virginity, he cannot possibly be saved.  For our Lord called such virginity as that “foolish,” as He said in the Gospel;306306    Matt. xxv. 2. and because it had neither oil nor light, it was left outside of the kingdom of heaven, and was shut out from the joy of the bridegroom, and was reckoned with His enemies.  For such persons as these “have the appearance only of the fear of God, but the power of it they deny.”307307    2 Tim. iii. 5.  For they “think with themselves that they are something, whilst they are nothing, and are deceived.  But let every one constantly try308308    Lit. “let every one be trying.” his works,”309309    Gal. vi. 3, 4. and know himself; for empty worship does he offer, whosoever he be that makes profession of virginity and 56sanctity, “and denies its power.”  For virginity of such a kind is impure, and disowned by all good works.  For “every tree whatsoever is known from its fruits.”310310    Matt. xii. 33.  [More probably Luke vi. 44.—R.]  “See that thou understand311311    Or “consider.”  There is no play on words in the passage quoted (2 Tim. ii. 7), nor perhaps was this intended in the Syriac. what I say:  God will give thee understanding.”312312    2 Tim. ii. 7.  For whosoever engages before God to preserve sanctity must be girded with all the holy power of God.  And, if with true fear313313    Lit. “true in fear of God.”  The reading is probably faulty.—Beelen. he crucify his body, he for the sake of the fear of God excuses himself from that word in which the Scripture314314    The ellipsis is usually to be thus filled up in these epistles.  [In similar cases which follow, italics will not be used.—R.]has said:  “Be fruitful, and multiply,”315315    Gen. i. 28. and shuns all the display, and care, and sensuality,316316    Or “the sensual pleasures.” and fascination of this world, and its revelries and its drunkenness, and all its luxury and ease, and withdraws from the entire life of317317    Or “from all intercourse with.” this world, and from its snares, and nets, and hindrances; and, whilst thou walkest318318    Either something is here omitted by the transcriber, or Clement has varied the form of expression.—Beelen. upon the earth, be zealous that thy work and thy business be in heaven.

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