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Chapter XIV.—Knowledge Enhances Responsibility.

“And truly confusion is our worthy portion, if we have done no more than those who are inferior to us in knowledge.  But if it be confusion to us, to be found equal to them in works, what shall become of us if the examination that is to take place find us inferior and worse than them?  Hear, therefore, how our true Prophet has taught us concerning these things; for, with respect to those who neglect to hear the words of wisdom, He speaks thus:  ‘The queen of the south shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here, and they hear Him not.’787787    Matt. xii. 42; Luke xi. 31.  But with respect to those who refused to repent of their evil deeds, He spoke thus:  ‘The men of Nineve shall rise in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.’788788    Matt. xii. 41; Luke xi. 32.  You see, therefore, how He condemned those who were instructed out of the law, by adducing the example of those who came from Gentile ignorance, and showing that the former were not even equal to those who seemed to live in error.  From all these things, then, the statement that He propounded is proved, that chastity, which is observed to a certain extent even by those who live in error, should be held much more purely and strictly, in all its forms, as we showed above, by us who follow the truth; and the rather because with us eternal rewards are assigned to its observance.”


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