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Acts of Virginal Chastity.

1. Virgins must remember, that the virginity of the body is only excellent in order to the purity of the soul; who therefore must consider, that since they are in the some measure in a condition like that of angels, it is their duty to spend much of their time in angelical employment: for in the same degree that virgins live more spiritually than other persons, in the same degree is their virginity a more excellent state. But else, it is no better than that of involuntary or constrained eunuchs; a misery and a trouble, or else a mere privation, as much without excellency as without mixture.

2. Virgins must contend for a singular modesty; whose first part must be an ignorance in the distinction of sexes, or their proper instruments; or if they accidentally be instructed in that, it must be supplied with an inadvertency or neglect of all thoughts and remembrances of such difference; and the following parts of it must be pious and chaste thoughts, holy language, and modest carriage.

3. Virgins must be retired and unpublic: for all freedom and looseness of society is a violence done to virginity, not in its natural, but in its moral capacity; that is, it loses part of its severity, strictness, and opportunity of advantages, by publishing that person whose work is religion, whose company is angels, whose thoughts must dwell in heaven, and separate from all mixtures of the world.

4. Virgins have a peculiar obligation to charity: for this is the virginity of the soul; as purity, integrity, and separation is of the body: which doctrine we are taught by St. Peter: ‘Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart, fervently.’1041041 Pet. i. 22. For a virgin that consecrates her body to God, and pollutes her spirit with rage, or impatience, or inordinate anger, gives him what he most hates, a most foul and defiled soul.

5. These rules are necessary for virgins that offer that state to God, and mean not to enter into the state of marriage; for they that only wait the opportunity of a convenient change are to steer themselves by the general rules of chastity.


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