12. For, whereas that natural use, when it pass beyond the compact of marriage, that is, beyond the necessity of begetting, is pardonable in the case of a wife, damnable in the case of an harlot; that which is against nature is execrable when done in the case of an harlot, but more execrable in the case of a wife. Of so great power is the ordinance of the Creator, and the order of Creation, that, in matters allowed us to use, even when the due measure is exceeded, it is far more tolerable, than, in what are not allowed, either a single, or rare excess. And, therefore, in a matter allowed, want of moderation, in a husband or wife, is to be borne with, in order that lust break not forth into a matter that is not allowed. Hence is it also that he sins far less, who is ever so unceasing in approaches to his wife, than he who approaches ever so seldom to commit fornication. But, when the man shall wish to use the member of the wife not allowed for this purpose, the wife is more shameful, if she suffer it to take place in her own case, than if in the case of another woman. Therefore the ornament of marriage is chastity of begetting, and faith of yielding the due of the flesh: this is the work of marriage, this the Apostle defends from every charge, in saying, |Both if thou shall have taken a wife, thou hast not sinned: and if a virgin shall have been married, she sinneth not:| and, |Let her do what she will: she sinneth not if she be married.| But an advance beyond moderation in demanding the due of either sex, for the reasons which I have stated above, is allowed to married persons as matter of pardon.
1 Cor. vii.28, 36 c13. What therefore he says, |She, that is unmarried, thinketh of the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit;| we are not to take in such sense, as to think that a chaste Christian wife is not holy in body. Forsooth unto all the faithful it was said, |Know ye not that your bodies are a temple of the Holy Ghost within you, Whom ye have from God?| Therefore the bodies also of the married are holy, so long as they keep faith to one another and to God. And that this sanctity of either of them, even an unbelieving partner does not stand in the way of, but rather that the sanctity of the wife profits the unbelieving husband, and the sanctity of the husband profits the unbelieving wife, the same Apostle is witness, saying, |For the unbelieving husband is sanctified in the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified in a brother.| Wherefore that was said according to the greater sanctity of the unmarried than of the married, unto which there is also due a greater reward, according as, the one being a good, the other is a greater good: inasmuch as also she has this thought only, how to please the Lord. For it is not that a female who believes, keeping married chastity, thinks not how to please the Lord; but assuredly less so, in that she thinks of the things of the world, how to please her husband. For this is what he would say of them, that they may, in a certain way, find themselves obliged by marriage to think of the things of the world, how to please their husbands.
1 Cor. vi.19 1 Cor. vii.14