XVIII. (98) After he has given these precepts, he issues additional commandments, and orders him, whenever he approaches the altar and touches the sacrifices, at the time when it is appointed for him to perform his sacred ministrations, not to drink wine or any other strong drink, on account of four most important reasons, hesitation, and forgetfulness, and sleep, and folly. (99) For the intemperate man relaxes the powers of his body, and renders his limbs more slow of motion, and makes his whole body more inclined to hesitation, and compels it by force to become drowsy. And he also relaxes the energies of his soul, and so becomes the cause to it of forgetfulness and folly. But in the case of abstemious men all the parts of the body are lighter, and as such more active and moveable, and the outer senses are more pure and unalloyed, and the mind is gifted with a more acute sight, so that it is able to see things beforehand, and never forgets what it has previously seen; (100) in short, therefore, we must look upon the use of wine to be a most unprofitable thing for all the purposes of life, inasmuch as by it the soul is weighed down, the outward senses are dimmed, and the body is enervated. For it does not leave any one of our faculties free and unembarrassed, but is a hindrance to every one of them, so as to impede its attaining that object to which it is by nature fitted. But in sacred ceremonies and holy rites the mischief is most grievous of all, in proportion as it is worse and more intolerable to sin with respect to God than with respect to man. On which account it probably is that it is commanded to the priest to offer up sacrifices without wine, in order to make a difference and distinction between sacred and profane things, and pure and impure things, and lawful and unlawful things.

XIX. (101) But since the priest was a man before he was a priest, and since he is of necessity desirous to indulge the appetites which prompt him to seek for the connections of love, he procures for him a marriage with a pure virgin, and one who is born of pure parents, and grandfathers, and great-grandfathers, selected for their excellency with reference both to their virtue and to their noble birth. (102) For God does not allow him even to look upon a harlot, or a profane body or soul, or upon any one who, having put away her pursuit of gain, now wears an elegant and modest appearance, because such a one is unholy in respect of her former profession and way of life; though in other respects she may be looked upon as honourable, by reason of her having purified herself of her former evil courses. For repentance for past sins is a thing to be praised; and no one else need be forbidden to marry her, only let her not come near a priest. For the especial property of the priesthood is justice and purity, which from the first beginning of its creation to the end, seeks a concord utterly irreproachable. (103) For it would be mere folly that some men should be excluded from the priesthood by reason of the scars which exist on their bodies from ancient wounds, which are the emblem of misfortune indeed, but not of wickedness; but that those persons who, not at all out of necessity but from their own deliberate choice, have made a market of their beauty, when at last they slowly repent, should at once after leaving their lovers become united to priests, and should come from brothels and be admitted into the sacred precincts. For the scars and impressions of their old offences remain not the less in the souls of those who repent. (104) On which account it is wisely and truly said in another passage, that “One may not bring the hire of a harlot into the Temple.”{11}{#de 23:18.} And yet the money is not in itself liable to any reproach, except by reason of the woman who received it, and the action for which it was given to her. How then could one possibly admit those women to consort with priests whose very money is looked upon as profane and base, even though as to its material and stamp it may be good and lawful money?