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Of Holy Virginity by St. Augustine

Section 37. But regard the troops of virgins, holy boys and girlsà

37. But regard the troops of virgins, holy boys and girls: this kind hath been trained up in Thy Church: there for Thee it hath been budding from its mother's breasts; for Thy Name it hath loosed its tongue to speak, Thy Name, as through the milk of its infancy, it hath had poured in and hath sucked, no one of this number can say, |I, who before was a blasphemer, and persecutor, and injurious, but I obtained mercy, in that I did in being ignorant, in unbelief.| Yea more, that, which Thou commandedst not, but only didst set forth, for such as would, to seize, saying, |Whoso can receive, let him receive;| they have seized, they have vowed, and, for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, not for that Thou threatenedst, but for that Thou exhortedst, they have made themselves eunuchs. To these cry out, let these hear Thee, in that Thou art |meek and lowly of heart.| Let these, by how much they are great, by so much humble themselves in all things, that they may find grace before Thee. They are just: but they are not, are they, such as Thou, justifying the ungodly? They are chaste: but them in sins their mothers nurtured in their wombs. They are holy, but Thou art also Holy of Holies. They are virgins, but they are not also born of virgins. They are wholly chaste both in spirit and in flesh: but they are not the Word made flesh. And yet let them learn, not from those unto whom Thou forgivest sins, but from Thee Thyself, The Lamb of God Who takest away the sins of the world, in that Thou art |meek and lowly of heart.|

Footnotes:

1 Tim. i.13 Matt. xix.12

Ps. li.5

John i.14

John i.29

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