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ANF08. The Twelve Patriarchs, Excerpts and Epistles, The Clementia, Apocrypha, Decretals, Memoirs of Edessa and Syriac Documents, Remains of the First
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Chapter 7.

Then Abiathar the priest offered gifts without end to the high priests, in order that he might obtain her as wife to his son.  But Mary forbade them, saying:  It cannot be that I should know a man, or that a man should know me.  For all the priests and all her relations kept saying to her:  God is worshipped in children and adored in posterity, as has always happened among the sons of Israel.  But Mary answered and said unto them:  God is worshipped in chastity, as is proved first of all.16311631    Or, by the first of all.  For before Abel there was none righteous among men, and he by his offerings pleased God, and was without mercy slain by him who displeased Him.  Two crowns, therefore, he received—of oblation and of virginity, because in his flesh there was no pollution.  Elias also, when he was in the flesh, was taken up in the flesh, because he kept his flesh unspotted.  Now I, from my infancy in the temple of God, have learned that virginity can be sufficiently dear to God.  And so, because I can offer what is dear to God, I have resolved in my heart that I should not know a man at all.


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