Shaker Commentary from the Past:

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On-line at PTW: March 31, 2000
  Last update: January 30, 2013

The Virgin Life

by Calvin Green,
Shaker Minister, Writer, Teacher & Elder



What are the most plain and conclusive evidences given by the Savior, of the necessity of a Virgin Life in order to be his true followers?



First:  Jesus Christ was born of a virgin without the generative cooperation of man, showing that the generative process in the works of God ended in him, and that the regenerative work which is the reverse of generation and requires perfect virgin purity, commenced in him to produce a heavenly and new creation, forever to increase until the whole works of God with the race of man was completed. (See Matt. 24:14.)

Second:  It is indisputable that Jesus Christ lived a perfect virgin life, and according to his positive precepts no one can be his disciple unless, "they deny themselves and take up their cross and follow him." We cannot follow him where he never went, therefore we cannot follow him in any connection, nor work of the flesh, for he never went into it in any manner whatever. It follows then conclusively that all such as marry in the flesh, or live in the works of the fleshly propensity, in any manner are not his disciples.

Third:  Jesus Christ who was the beginning of the new and spiritual creation of God among the human race, said to his followers, "ye are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. If ye were of the world the world would love its own." The works of the flesh are indisputably the life of the world, and there is nothing the children of the world love so well, nor is there anything the world hates so much as that superior life of Christ which supplants this fleshly life of the world. Therefore said the Savior; "because ye are not of the world, for I have chosen you out of the world, the world hateth you." Hence it is indisputable, that none are the subjects or possessors of this heavenly kingdom, unless they are called out from, and have utterly forsaken this beloved life of the world, even as he did! Therefore it is evident that such as truly do this work, are those who constitute the kingdom of heaven upon earth, and are the true heirs of the kingdom of God in the eternal world.

Fourth:  Christ testifies that, "The children of this world marry and are given in marriage: but they which shall be (or are) accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection, neither marry nor are given in marriage — but are equal to the angels — or are as the angels of God in heaven. (See Luke 20:34-35, & Matt. 22:30.) Certainly this cannot with any propriety be applied to any, except such as have "risen with Christ from the life of the world into the life of his heavenly kingdom. (See Col. 1:4.) Nay, all such "being equal to the angels of God in heaven," cannot possibly apply to the resurrection or reanimation of dead bodies of both the righteous and wicked, according to the orthodox idea of the resurrection.

Fifth: "I am the resurrection and the life," said Christ. If then that divine spirit is the resurrection and the true life, all such as come into Christ are in the resurrection and heavenly life, hence can no more marry and be given in the marriage of the flesh than the angels in heaven. This is verified by St Paul's words: "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; all things are become new. And all things are of God through Christ." (See 2 Cor. 5:17.) If then all old things are passed away in those who come into Christ the resurrection; certainly the oldest of all nature's works in man, the generative works, i.e. the works and life of the flesh must be done away. It follows then conclusively, that all who live in the generative life in any manner, are not in Christ.

Many other positive precepts of the Savior, might be advanced, but it appears evident that these are sufficient to convince any reasonable mind, that it is incontestably impossible to follow Christ — be his disciple, or possess his kingdom, without the effect of a life of perfect virgin purity.


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