`Let man say somewhat to me. What hath he brought into the world, by reason of which he would live in idleness? Certain it is that he was born naked, and incapable of anything. Hence, of all that he has found, he is not the owner, but the dispenser. And he will have to render an account thereof in that dreadful day. The abominable lust, that maketh man like the brute beasts, ought greatly to be feared; for the enemy is of one's own household, so that it is not possible to go into any place whither thine enemy may not come. Ah, how many have perished through lust! Through lust came the deluge, insomuch that the world perished before the mercy of God and so that there were saved only Noah and eighty-three human persons.
`For lust God overwhelmed three wicked cities whence escaped only Lot and his two children.
`For lust the tribe of Benjamin was all but extinguished. And I tell you verily that if I should narrate to you how many have perished through lust, the space of five days would not suffice,'
James answered: `O Master, what signifieth lust?'
Jesus answered: `Lust is an unbridled desire of love, which, not being directed by reason, bursts the bounds of man's intellect and affections; so that the man, not knowing himself, loveth that which he ought to hate. Believe me, when a man loveth a thing, not because God hath given him such thing, but as its owner, he is a fornicator; for that the soul, which ought to abide in union with God its creator, he hath united with the creature. And so God lamenteth by Isaiah the prophet, saying: "Thou hast committed fornication with many lovers; nevertheless, return unto me and I will receive thee."
`As God liveth in whose presence my soul standeth, if there were not internal lust within the heart of man, he would not fall into the external; for if the root be removed the tree dieth speedily.
`Let a man content himself therefore with the wife whom his creator hath given him, and let him forget every other woman.'
Andrew answered: `How shall a man forget the women if he live in the city where there are so many of them?'
Jesus replied: `O Andrew, certain it is he who liveth in the city, it will do him harm; seeing that the city is a sponge that drawth in every iniquity.