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43. Concerning continence also itself hath it not been most openly said, “And when I knew that no one can be continent unless God give it, this also itself was a part of wisdom, to know whose gift it was?”21772177    Wisd. viii. 21 But perhaps continence is the gift of God, but wisdom man bestows upon himself, whereby to understand, that that gift is, not his own, but of God. Yea, “The Lord maketh wise the blind:”21782178    Ps. cxlvi. 8 and, “The testimony of the Lord is faithful, it giveth wisdom unto little ones:”21792179    Ps. xix. 7 and, “If any one want wisdom, let him ask of God, Who giveth unto all liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given to him.”21802180    James i. 5 But it becometh virgins to be wise, that their lamps be not extinguished.21812181    Matt. xxv. 4 How “wise,” save “not having high thoughts, but consenting unto the lowly.”21822182    Rom. xii. 16 For Wisdom Itself hath said unto man, “Lo, piety is wisdom!”21832183    Job xxviii. 28. LXX. If therefore thou hast nothing, which thou hast not received, “Be not high-minded, but fear.”21842184    Rom. xi. 20 And love not thou little, as though Him by Whom little hath been forgiven to thee; but, rather, love Him much, by Whom much hath been given to thee. For if he loves, unto whom it hath been given not to repay: how much more ought he to love, unto whom it hath been given to possess. For both, whosoever continues chaste from the beginning, is ruled by Him; and whosoever is made chaste instead of unchaste, is corrected by Him; and whosoever is unchaste even unto the end, is abandoned by Him. But this He can do by secret counsel, by unrighteous He cannot: and perhaps it is for this end that it lies hid, that there may be more fear, and less pride.

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