Of Elaborate Dressing of the Hair in Other Ways, and Its Bearing Upon Salvation.
What service, again, does all the labour spent in arranging the hair render to salvation? Why is no rest allowed to your hair, which must now be bound, now loosed, now cultivated, now thinned out? Some are anxious to force their hair into curls, some to let it hang loose and flying; not with good simplicity: beside which, you affix I know not what enormities of subtle and textile perukes; now, after the manner of a helmet of undressed hide, as it were a sheath for the head and a covering for the crown; now, a mass (drawn) backward toward the neck. The wonder is, that there is no (open) contending against the Lord's prescripts! It has been pronounced that no one can add to his own stature. [194] You, however, do add to your weight some kind of rolls, or shield-bosses, to be piled upon your necks! If you feel no shame at the enormity, feel some at the pollution; for fear you may be fitting on a holy and Christian head the slough [195] of some one else's [196] head, unclean perchance, guilty perchance and destined to hell. [197] Nay, rather banish quite away from your "free" [198] head all this slavery of ornamentation. In vain do you labour to seem adorned: in vain do you call in the aid of all the most skilful manufacturers of false hair. God bids you "be veiled." [199] I believe (He does so) for fear the heads of some should be seen! And oh that in "that day" [200] of Christian exultation, I, most miserable (as I am), may elevate my head, even though below (the level of) your heels! I shall (then) see whether you will rise with (your) ceruse and rouge and saffron, and in all that parade of headgear: [201] whether it will be women thus tricked out whom the angels carry up to meet Christ in the air! [202] If these (decorations) are now good, and of God, they will then also present themselves to the rising bodies, and will recognise their several places. But nothing can rise except flesh and spirit sole and pure. [203] Whatever, therefore, does not rise in (the form of) [204] spirit and flesh is condemned, because it is not of God. From things which are condemned abstain, even at the present day. At the present day let God see you such as He will see you then.

[194] Mensuram. See Matthew 6:27.

[195] Exuvias.

[196] "Alieni:" perhaps here ="alien," i.e., "heathen," as in other places.

[197] Gehennæ.

[198] Comp. Galatians 4:31; v. 13.

[199] See 1 Corinthians 11:2-16; and comp. de Or., c. xxii., and the treatise de Virg. Vel.

[200] Comp. ad Ux., b. ii. c. iii.

[201] Ambitu (habitu is a conjectural emendation noticed by Oehler) capitis.

[202] See 1 Thess. iv. 13-17.

[203] Comp. 1 1 Corinthians 15:50 with 1 Thess. v. 23.

[204] Or, "within the limits of the flesh and the spirit."

chapter vi of dyeing the hair
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