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Chapter XXXVIII.—Reward of Chastity.

Therefore, as the order and reason of the mystery demanded, on the following day she was baptized in the sea, 804 and returning to the lodging, was initiated in all the mysteries of religion in their order.  And we her sons, Niceta and Aquila, and I Clement, were present.  And after this we dined with her, and glorified God with her, thankfully acknowledging the zeal and teaching of Peter, who showed us, by the example of our mother, that the good of chastity is not lost with God; 805 “as, on the other hand,” said he, “unchastity does not escape punishment, though it may not be punished immediately, but slowly.  But so well pleasing,” said he, “is chastity to God, that it confers some grace in the present life even upon those who are in error; for future blessedness is laid up for those only who preserve chastity and righteousness by the grace of baptism.  In short, that which has befallen your mother is an example of this, for all this welfare has been restored to her in reward of her chastity, for the guarding and preserving of which continence alone is not sufficient; but when any one perceives that snares and deceptions are being prepared, he must straightway flee as from the violence of fire or the attack of a mad dog, and not trust that he can easily frustrate snares of this kind by philosophizing or by humouring them; but, as I have said, he must flee and withdraw to a distance, as your mother also did through her true and entire love of chastity.  And on this account she has been preserved to you, and you to her; and in addition, she has been endowed with the knowledge of eternal life.”  When he had said this, and much more to the same effect, the evening having come, we went to sleep.




[The baptism is narrated in Homily XIV. 1.—R.]


[In Homily XIII. 20, 21, a longer discourse, to the same effect, is recorded; but it is addressed to the mother the evening before her baptism.—R.]

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