Neither do men put new wine into old wineskins: else the wineskins break, and the wine runs out, and the wineskins perish: but they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.
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Do you see His illustrations, how like the Old Testament? The garment? The wine skins? For Jeremiah too calls the people a girdle, and makes mention again of bottles and of wine. Jeremiah 13:10-12 Thus, the discourse being about gluttony and a table, He takes His illustrations from the same.
But Luke the same words, a second and a third time and often; not however in a wearisome kind of way, but sport ively, and do thou now turn from her, now flatter and court her.
Do you see not the painters, how much they rub out, how much they insert, when they are making a beautiful portrait? Well then, do not thou prove inferior to these. For if these, in drawing the likeness of a body, used such great diligence, how much more were it meet for us, in fashioning a soul, to use every contrivance. For if you should fashion well the form of this soul, you will not see the countenance of the body looking unseemly, nor lips stained, nor a mouth like a bear's mouth dyed with blood, nor eyebrows blackened as with the smut of some kitchen vessel, nor cheeks whitened with dust like the walls of the tombs. For all these things are smut, and cinders, and dust, and signals of extreme deformity.
But stay: I have been led on unobserving, I know not how, into these expressions; and while admonishing another to teach with gentleness, I have been myself hurried away into wrath. Let us return therefore again unto the more gentle way of admonition, and let us bear with all the faults of our wives, that we may succeed in doing what we would. Do you see not how we bear with the cries of children, when we would wean them from the breast, how we endure all for this object only, that we may persuade them to despise their former food? Thus let us do in this case also, let us bear with all the rest, that we may accomplish this. For when this has been amended, you will see the other too proceeding in due order, and you will come again unto the ornaments of gold, and in the same way wilt reason concerning them likewise, and thus little by little bringing your wife unto the right rule, you will be a beautiful painter, a faithful servant, an excellent husbandman.
Together with these things remind her also of the women of old, of Sarah, of Rebecca, both of the fair and of them that were not so, and point out how all equally practised modesty. For even Leah, the wife of the patriarch, not being fair, was not constrained to devise any such thing, but although she were uncomely, and not very much beloved by her husband, she neither devised any such thing, nor marred her countenance, but continued to preserve the lineaments thereof undisfigured, and this though brought up by Gentiles.
But thou that art a believing woman, you that hast Christ for your head, are you bringing in upon us a satanic art? And do you not call to mind the water that dashed over your countenance, the sacrifice that adorns your lips, the blood that has reddened your tongue? For if you would consider all these things, though thou were fond of dress to the ten thousandth degree, you will not venture nor endure to put upon you that dust and those cinders. Learn that you have been joined unto Christ, and refrain from this unseemliness. For neither is He delighted with these colorings, but He seeks after another beauty, of which He is in an exceeding degree a lover, I mean, that in the soul. This the prophet likewise has charged you to cherish, and has said, So shall the King have pleasure in your beauty.
Let us not therefore be curious in making ourselves unseemly. For neither is any one of God's works imperfect, nor does it need to be set right by you. For not even if to an image of the emperor, after it was set up, any one were to seek to add his own work, would the attempt be safe, but he will incur extreme danger. Well then, man works and you add not; but does God work, and do you amend it? And do you not consider the fire of hell? Do you not consider the destitution of your soul? For on this account it is neglected, because all your care is wasted on the flesh.
But why do I speak of the soul? For to the very flesh everything falls out contrary to what you have sought. Consider it. Do you wish to appear beautiful? This shows you uncomely. Do you wish to please your husband? This rather grieves him; and causes not him only, but strangers also, to become your accusers. Would you appear young? This will quickly bring you to old age. Would you wish to array yourself honorably? This makes you to be ashamed. For such an one is ashamed not only before those of her own rank, but even those of her maids who are in her secret, and those of her servants who know; and, above all, before herself.
But why need I say these things? For that which is more grievous than all I have now omitted, namely, that you dost offend God; you undermine modesty, kindlest the flame of jealousy, emulatest the harlot women at their brothel.
All these things then consider, you women, and laugh to scorn the pomp of Satan and the craft of the devil; and letting go this adorning, or rather disfiguring, cultivate that beauty in your own souls which is lovely even to angels and desired of God, and delightful to your husbands; that you may attain both unto present glory, and unto that which is to come. To which God grant that we may all attain, by the grace and love towards man of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory and might forever and ever. Amen.