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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : Chapter XXX.--The Lax and Dangerous Views of This Sect Respecting Good Works That These are Unnecessary to the Spiritual Man.

Against The Valentinians by Tertullian

Chapter XXX.--The Lax and Dangerous Views of This Sect Respecting Good Works That These are Unnecessary to the Spiritual Man.

For this reason it is that they neither regard works as necessary for themselves, nor do they observe any of the calls of duty, eluding even the necessity of martyrdom on any pretence which may suit their pleasure. For this rule, (they say), is enjoined upon the animal seed, in order that the salvation, which we do not possess by any privilege of our state, we may work out by right of our conduct. Upon us, who are of an imperfect nature, is imprinted the mark of this (animal) seed, because we are reckoned as sprung from the loves of Theletus, and consequently as an abortion, just as their mother was. But woe to us indeed, should we in any point transgress the yoke of discipline, should we grow dull in the works of holiness and justice, should we desire to make our confession anywhere else, I know not where, and not before the powers of this world at the tribunals of the chief magistrates! As for them, however, they may prove their nobility by the dissoluteness of their life and their diligence in sin, since Achamoth fawns on them as her own; for she, too, found sin no unprofitable pursuit. Now it is held amongst them, that, for the purpose of honouring the celestial marriages, it is necessary to contemplate and celebrate the mystery always by cleaving to a companion, that, is to a woman; otherwise (they account any man) degenerate, and a bastard to the truth, who spends his life in the world without loving a woman or uniting himself to her. Then what is to become of the eunuchs whom we see amongst them?
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