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On Monogamy.577577    [Written against orthodoxy, say circa a.d. 208.  But see Elucidation I.].

[Translated by the Rev. S. Thelwall.]


Chapter I.—Different Views in Regard to Marriage Held by Heretics, Psychic, and Spiritualists.

Heretics do away with marriages; Psychics accumulate them.  The former marry not even once; the latter not only once.  What dost thou, Law of the Creator?  Between alien eunuchs and thine own grooms, thou complainest as much of the over-obedience of thine own household as of the contempt of strangers.  They who abuse thee, do thee equal hurt with them who use thee not.  In fact, neither is such continence laudable because it is heretical, nor such licence defensible because it is psychical.  The former is blasphemous, the latter wanton; the former destroys the God of marriages, the latter puts Him to the blush.  Among us, however, whom the recognition of spiritual gifts entitles to be deservedly called Spiritual, continence is as religious as licence is modest; since both the one and the other are in harmony with the Creator.  Continence honours the law of marriage, licence tempers it; the former is not forced, the latter is regulated; the former recognises the power of free choice, the latter recognises a limit.  We admit one marriage, just as we do one God.  The law of marriage reaps an accession of honour where it is associated with shamefastness.  But to the Psychics, since they receive not the Spirit, the things which are the Spirit’s are not pleasing.  Thus, so long as the things which are the Spirit’s please them not, the things which are of the flesh will please, as being the contraries of the Spirit.  “The flesh,” saith (the apostle), “lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.”578578    Gal. v. 17.  But what will the flesh “lust” after, except what is more of the flesh?  For which reason withal, in the beginning, it became estranged from the Spirit.  “My Spirit,” saith (God), “shall not permanently abide in these men eternally,579579    In ævum; εἰς τὸν αἱῶνα (LXX.); in æternum (Vulg.). for that they are flesh.”580580    Gen. vi. 3.

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