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The Banquet Of The Ten Virgins Or Concerning Chastity - Methodius

Title Page

Introductory Notice to Methodius.

Persons of the Dialogue:

Chapter I.--The Difficulty and Excellence of Virginity; The Study of

Chapter II.--Virginity a Plant from Heaven, Introduced Late; The Advancement of Mankind to Perfection, How Arranged.

Chapter III.--By the Circumcision of Abraham, Marriage with Sisters Forbidden; In the Times of the Prophets Polygamy Put a Stop To; Conjugal Purity Itself by Degrees Enforced.

Chapter IV.--Christ Alone Taught Virginity, Openly Preaching the Kingdom of Heaven; The Likeness of God to Be Attained in the Light of the Divine Virtues.

Chapter V.--Christ, by Preserving His Flesh Incorrupt in Virginity, Draws to the Exercise of Virginity; The Small Number of Virgins in Proportion to the Number of Saints.

Chapter I.--Marriage Not Abolished by the Commendation of Virginity.

Chapter II.--Generation Something Akin to the First Formation of Eve from the Side and Nature of Adam; God the Creator of Men in Ordinary Generation.

Chapter III.--An Ambiguous Passage of Scripture; Not Only the Faithful But Even Prelates Sometimes Illegitimate.

Chapter IV.--Human Generation, and the Work of God Therein Set Forth.

Chapter V.--The Holy Father Follows Up the Same Argument.

Chapter VI.--God Cares Even for Adulterous Births; Angels Given to Them as Guardians.

Chapter VII.--The Rational Soul from God Himself; Chastity Not the Only Good, Although the Best and Most Honoured.

Chapter I.--Passages of Holy Scripture Compared.

Chapter II.--The Digressions of the Apostle Paul; The Character of His Doctrine: Nothing in It Contradictory; Condemnation of Origen, Who Wrongly Turns Everything into Allegory.

Chapter III.--Comparison Instituted Between the First and Second Adam.

Chapter IV.--Some Things Here Hard and Too Slightly Treated, and Apparently Not Sufficiently Brought Out According to the Rule of Theology.

Chapter V.--A Passage of Jeremiah Examined.

Chapter VI.--The Whole Number of Spiritual Sheep; Man a Second Choir, After the Angels, to the Praise of God; The Parable of the Lost Sheep Explained.

Chapter VII.--The Works of Christ, Proper to God and to Man, the Works of Him Who is One.

Chapter VIII.--The Bones and Flesh of Wisdom; The Side Out of Which the Spiritual Eve is Formed, the Holy Spirit; The Woman the Help-Meet of Adam; Virgins Betrothed to Christ.

Chapter IX.--The Dispensation of Grace in Paul the Apostle.

Chapter X.--The Doctrine of the Same Apostle Concerning Purity.

Chapter XI.--The Same Argument.

Chapter XII.--Paul an Example to Widows, and to Those Who Do Not Live with Their Wives.

Chapter XIII.--The Doctrine of Paul Concerning Virginity Explained.

Chapter XIV.--Virginity a Gift of God: the Purpose of Virginity Not Rashly to Be Adopted by Any One.

Chapter I.--The Necessity of Praising Virtue, for Those Who Have the

Chapter II.--The Protection of Chastity and Virginity Divinely Given to Men, that They May Emerge from the Mire of Vices.

Chapter III.--That Passage of David Explained; What the Harps Hung Upon the Willows Signify; The Willow a Symbol of Chastity; The Willows Watered by Streams.

Chapter IV.--The Author Goes on with the Interpretation of the Same Passage.

Chapter V.--The Gifts of Virgins, Adorned with Which They are Presented to One Husband, Christ.

Chapter VI.--Virginity to Be Cultivated and Commended in Every Place and Time.

Chapter I.--The Offering of Chastity a Great Gift.

Chapter II.--Abraham's Sacrifice of a Heifer Three Years Old, of a Goat, and of a Ram Also Three Years Old: Its Meaning; Every Age to Be Consecrated to God; The Threefold Watch and Our Age.

Chapter III.--Far Best to Cultivate Virtue from Boyhood.

Chapter IV.--Perfect Consecration and Devotion to God: What It is.

Chapter V.--The Vow of Chastity, and Its Rites in the Law; Vines, Christ, and the Devil.

Chapter VI.--Sikera, a Manufactured and Spurious Wine, Yet Intoxicating; Things Which are Akin to Sins are to Be Avoided by a Virgin; The Altar of Incense (a Symbol Of) Virgins.

Chapter VII.--The Church Intermediate Between the Shadows of the Law and the Realities of Heaven.

Chapter VIII.--The Double Altar, Widows and Virgins; Gold the Symbol of Virginity.

Chapter I.--The Excellence of the Abiding Glory of Virginity; The Soul

Chapter II.--The Parable of the Ten Virgins.

Chapter III.--The Same Endeavour and Effort After Virginity, with a Different Result.

Chapter IV.--What the Oil in the Lamps Means.

Chapter V.--The Reward of Virginity.

Chapter I.--What the True and Seemly Manner of Praising; The Father

Chapter II.--The Interpretation of that Passage of the Canticles.

Chapter III.--Virgins Being Martyrs First Among the Companions of Christ.

Chapter IV.--The Passage Explained; The Queens, the Holy Souls Before the Deluge; The Concubines, the Souls of the Prophets; The Divine Seed for Spiritual Offspring in the Books of the Prophets; The Nuptials of the Word in the Prophets as Though Clandesti

Chapter V.--The Sixty Queens: Why Sixty, and Why Queens; The Excellence of the Saints of the First Age.

Chapter VI.--The Eighty Concubines, What; The Knowledge of the Incarnation Communicated to the Prophets.

Chapter VII.--The Virgins, the Righteous Ancients; The Church, the One Only Spouse, More Excellent Than the Others.

Chapter VIII.--The Human Nature of Christ His One Dove.

Chapter IX.--The Virgins Immediately After the Queen and Spouse.

Chapter I.--Methodius' Derivation of the Word Virginity: Wholly

Chapter II.--The Lofty Mind and Constancy of the Sacred Virgins; The Introduction of Virgins into the Blessed Abodes Before Others.

Chapter III.--The Lot and Inheritance of Virginity.

Chapter IV.--Exhortation to the Cultivation of Virginity; A Passage from the Apocalypse is Proposed to Be Examined.

Chapter V.--The Woman Who Brings Forth, to Whom the Dragon is Opposed, the Church; Her Adornment and Grace.

Chapter VI.--The Works of the Church, the Bringing Forth of Children in Baptism; The Moon in Baptism, the Full Moon of Christ's Passion.

Chapter VII.--The Child of the Woman in the Apocalypse Not Christ, But the Faithful Who are Born in the Laver.

Chapter VIII.--The Faithful in Baptism Males, Configured to Christ; The Saints Themselves Christs.

Chapter IX.--The Son of God, Who Ever Is, is To-Day Begotten in the Minds and Sense of the Faithful.

Chapter X.--The Dragon, the Devil; The Stars Struck from Heaven by the Tail of the Dragon, Heretics; The Numbers of the Trinity, that Is, the Persons Numbered; Errors Concerning Them.

Chapter XI.--The Woman with the Male Child in the Wilderness the Church; The Wilderness Belongs to Virgins and Saints; The Perfection of Numbers and Mysteries; The Equality and Perfection of the Number Six; The Number Six Related to Christ; From This Numb

Chapter XII.--Virgins are Called to the Imitation of the Church in the Wilderness Overcoming the Dragon.

Chapter XIII.--The Seven Crowns of the Beast to Be Taken Away by Victorious Chastity; The Ten Crowns of the Dragon, the Vices Opposed to the Decalogue; The Opinion of Fate the Greatest Evil.

Chapter XIV.--The Doctrine of Mathematicians Not Wholly to Be Despised, When They are Concerned About the Knowledge of the Stars; The Twelve Signs of the Zodiac Mythical Names.

Chapter XV.--Arguments from the Novelty of Fate and Generation; That Golden Age, Early Men; Solid Arguments Against the Mathematicians.

Chapter XVI.--Several Other Things Turned Against the Same Mathematicians.

Chapter XVII.--The Lust of the Flesh and Spirit: Vice and Virtue.

Chapter I.--Chastity the Chief Ornament of the True Tabernacle; Seven

Chapter II.--Figure, Image, Truth: Law, Grace, Glory; Man Created Immortal: Death Brought in by Destructive Sin.

Chapter III.--How Each One Ought to Prepare Himself for the Future Resurrection.

Chapter IV.--The Mind Clearer When Cleansed from Sin; The Ornaments of the Mind and the Order of Virtue; Charity Deep and Full; Chastity the Last Ornament of All; The Very Use of Matrimony to Be Restrained.

Chapter V.--The Mystery of the Tabernacles.

Chapter I.--Chastity Alone Aids and Effects the Most Praiseworthy

Chapter II.--The Allegory of the Trees Demanding a King, in the Book of Judges, Explained.

Chapter III.--The Bramble and the Agnos the Symbol of Chastity; The Four Gospels, that Is, Teachings or Laws, Instructing to Salvation.

Chapter IV.--The Law Useless for Salvation; The Last Law of Chastity Under the Figure of the Bramble.

Chapter V.--The Malignity of the Devil as an Imitator in All Things; Two Kinds of Fig-Trees and Vines.

Chapter VI.--The Mystery of the Vision of Zechariah.

Chapter I.--The True and Chaste Virgins Few; Chastity a Contest; Thekla

Chapter II.--Thekla Singing Decorously a Hymn, the Rest of the Virgins Sing with Her; John the Baptist a Martyr to Chastity; The Church the Spouse of God, Pure and Virgin.

Chapter III.--Which are the Better, the Continent, or Those Who Delight in Tranquillity of Life? Contests the Peril of Chastity: the Felicity of Tranquillity; Purified and Tranquil Minds Gods: They Who Shall See God; Virtue Disciplined by Temptations.


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