The Banquet Of The Ten Virgins Or Concerning Chastity by Methodius
Chapter XI.--The Same Argument.
For consider, O virgins, how he, desiring with all his might that believers in Christ should be chaste, endeavours by many arguments to show them the dignity of chastity, as when he says, Now, concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman,| thence showing already very clearly that it is good not to touch a woman, laying it down. and setting it forth unconditionally. But afterwards, being aware of the weakness of the less continent, and their passion for intercourse, he permitted those who are unable to govern the flesh to use their own wives, rather than, shamefully transgressing, to give themselves up to fornication. Then, after having given this permission, he immediately added these words, |that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency;| which means, |if you, such as you are, cannot, on account of the incontinence and softness of your bodies, be perfectly continent, I will rather permit you to have intercourse with your own wives, lest, professing perfect continence, ye be constantly tempted by the evil one, and be inflamed with lust after other men's wives.|