Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series II/Volume XI/Sulpitius Severus/Doubtful Letters/Letter II/Chapter IX
There follows the clause “how she may please God,”—God, I say, not men,—“that she may be holy both in body and spirit.” He does not say that she may be holy only in a member or in the body, but that she may be holy in body and spirit. For a member is only one part of the body, but the body is a union of all the members. When, therefore, he says that she may be holy in the body, he testifies that she ought to be sanctified in all her members, because the sanctification of the other members will not avail, if corruption be found remaining in one. Also, she will not be holy in body (which consists of all the members), who is defiled by the pollution of even one of them. But in order that what I say may be made more obvious and clear, suppose the case of a woman who is purified by the sanctification of all her other members, and sins only with her tongue, inasmuch as she either speaks evil of people or bears false testimony, will all her other members secure the acquittal of one, or will all the rest be judged on account of the one? If, therefore, the sanctification of the other members will not avail, even when one only is at fault, how much more, if all are corrupted by the guilt of various sins, will the perfection of one be of no avail?