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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : Chapter 47. An example of the temperate style is the celebrated encomium on virginity from Cyprianà

On Christian Doctrine In Four Books by St. Augustine

Chapter 47. An example of the temperate style is the celebrated encomium on virginity from Cyprianà

47. An example of the temperate style is the celebrated encomium on virginity from Cyprian: |Now our discourse addresses itself to the virgins, who, as they are the objects of higher honour, are also the objects of greater care. These are the flowers on the tree of the Church, the glory and ornament of spiritual grace, the joy of honour and praise, a work unbroken and unblemished, the image of God answering to the holiness of the Lord, the brighter portion of the flock of Christ. The glorious fruitfulness of their mother the Church rejoices in them, and in them flourishes more abundantly; and in proportion as bright virginity adds to her numbers, in the same proportion does the mother's joy increase.| And at another place in the end of the epistle, |As we have borne,| he says, |the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.| Virginity bears this image, integrity bears it, holiness and truth bear it; they bear it who are mindful of the chastening of the Lord, who observe justice and piety, who are strong in faith, humble in fear, steadfast in the endurance of suffering, meek in the endurance of injury, ready to pity, of one mind and of one heart in brotherly peace. And every one of these things ought ye, holy virgins, to obscene, to cherish, and fulfill, who having hearts at leisure for God and for Christ, and having chosen the greater and better part, lead and point the way to the Lord, to whom you have pledged your vows. Ye who are advanced in age, exercise control over the younger. Ye who are younger, wait upon the elders, and encourage your equals; stir up one another by mutual exhortations; provoke one another to glory by emulous examples of virtue; endure bravely, advance in spirituality, finish your course with joy; only be mindful of us when your virginity shall begin to reap its reward of honour.|

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