1 Better than this is childlessness with virtue, for in the memory of virtue is immortality, because it is known both by God and by mortals. 2 When it is present, people imitate it, and they long for it when it has gone; throughout all time it marches, crowned in triumph, victor in the contest for prizes that are undefiled. 3But the prolific brood of the ungodly will be of no use, and none of their illegitimate seedlings will strike a deep root or take a firm hold.4 For even if they put forth boughs for a while, standing insecurely they will be shaken by the wind, and by the violence of the winds they will be uprooted. 5 The branches will be broken off before they come to maturity, and their fruit will be useless, not ripe enough to eat, and good for nothing. 6 For children born of unlawful unions are witnesses of evil against their parents when God examines them.
Date: 100-50 B.C.E. (based on scholarly estimates)
Methodius Banquet of the Ten Virgins 1.3
And thus, from the time of Abraham, the custom of marrying with sisters has ceased; and from the times of the prophets the contracting of marriage with several wives has been done away with; for we read, Go not after your lusts, but refrain yourself from your appetites; for wine and women will make men of understanding to fall away; and in another place, Let your fountain be blessed; and rejoice with the wife of your youth, manifestly forbidding a plurality of wives. And Jeremiah clearly gives the name of fed horses to those who lust after other women; and we read, The multiplying brood of the ungodly shall not thrive, nor take deep rooting from bastard slips, nor lay any fast foundation. Lest, however, we should seem prolix in collecting the testimonies of the prophets, let us again point out how chastity succeeded to marriage with one wife, taking away by degrees the lusts of the flesh, until it removed entirely the inclination for sexual intercourse engendered by habit. For presently one is introduced earnestly deprecating, from henceforth, this seduction, saying, O Lord, Father, and Governor of my life, leave me not to their counsels; give me not a proud look; let not the greediness of the belly, nor lust of the flesh, take hold of me. And in the Book of Wisdom, a book full of all virtue, the Holy Spirit, now openly drawing His hearers to continence and chastity, sings on this wise, Better it is to have no children, and to have virtue, for the memorial thereof is immortal; because it is known with God and with men. When it is present men take example at it; and when it is gone they desire it: it wears a crown and triumphs for ever, having gotten the victory, striving for undefiled rewards.