The Lost Books of the Bible

12 And a bright cloud conducted her in her journey.

13 And after she had arrived at Seleucia she went to a place out of the city, about the distance of a furlong, being afraid of the inhabitants, because they were worshippers of idols.

14 And she was led (by the cloud) into a mountain called Calamon, or Rodeon. There she abode many years, and underwent a great many grievous temptations of the devil, which she bore in a becoming manner, by the assistance which she had from Christ.

15 At length certain gentlewomen hearing of the virgin Thecla, went to her, and were instructed by her in the oracles of God, and many of them abandoned this world, and led a monastic life with her.

16 Hereby a good report was spread everywhere of Thecla, and she wrought several (miraculous) cures, so that all the city and adjacent countries brought their sick to that mountain, and before they came as far as the door of the cave, they were instantly cured of whatsoever distemper they had.

17 The unclean spirits were cast out, making a noise; all received their sick made whole, and glorified God, who had bestowed such power on the virgin Thecla;

18 Insomuch that the physicians of Seleucia were now of no more account, and lost all the profit of their trade, because no one regarded them; upon which they were filled with envy, and began to contrive what methods to take with this servant of Christ.

CHAP. XI.

1 Is attempted to be ravished, 12 escapes by a rock opening, 17 and closing miraculously.

THE devil then suggested bad advice to their minds; and being on a certain day met together to consult, they reasoned among each other thus: The virgin is a priestess of the great goddess Diana, and whatsoever she requests from her, is granted, because she is a virgin, and so is beloved by all the gods.

2 Now then let us procure some rakish fellows, and after we have made them sufficiently drunk, and given them a good sum of money, let us order them to go and debauch this virgin, promising them, if they do it, a larger reward.

3 (For they thus concluded among themselves, that if they be able to debauch her, the gods will no more regard her, nor Diana cure the sick for her.)

4 They proceeded according to this resolution, and the fellows went to the mountain, and as fierce as lions to the cave, knocking at the door.

5 The holy martyr Thecla, relying upon the God in whom she believed, opened the door, although she was before apprized of their design, and said to them,

[p. 111] [paragraph continues] Young men, what is your business?

6 They replied, Is there any one within, whose name is Thecla? She answered, What would you have with her? They said, We have a mind to lie with her.

7 The blessed Thecla answered: Though I am a mean old woman, I am the servant of my Lord Jesus Christ; and though you have a vile design against me, ye shall not be able to accomplish it. They replied: It is impossible but we must be able to do with you what we have a mind.

8 And while they were saying this, they laid hold on her by main force, and would have ravished her. Then she with the (greatest) mildness said to them: Young men have patience, and see the glory of the Lord.

9 And while they held her, she looked up to heaven and said; O God most reverend, to whom none can be likened; who makest thyself glorious over thine enemies; who didst deliver me from the fire, and didst not give me up to Thamyris, didst not give me up to Alexander; who deliveredst me from the wild beasts; who didst preserve me in the deep waters; who hast everywhere been my helper, and hast glorified thy name in me;

10 Now also deliver me from the hands of these wicked and unreasonable men, nor suffer them to debauch my chastity which I have hitherto preserved for thy honour; for I love thee and long for thee, and worship thee, O Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for evermore. Amen.

11 Then came a voice from heaven, saying, Fear not, Thecla, my faithful servant, for I am with thee. Look and see the place which is opened for thee: there thy eternal abode shall be; there thou shalt receive the beatific vision.

12 The blessed Thecla observing, saw the rock opened to as large a degree as that a man might enter in; she did as she was commanded, bravely fled from the vile crew, and went into the rock, which instantly so closed, that there was not any crack visible where it had opened.

13 The men stood perfectly astonished at so prodigious a miracle, and had no power to detain the servant of God; but only, catching hold of her veil, or hood, they tore off a piece of it;

14 And even that was by the permission of God, for the confirmation of their faith who should come to see this venerable place, and to convey blessings to those in succeeding ages, who should believe on our Lord Jesus Christ from a pure heart.

15 Thus suffered that first martyr and apostle of God, and virgin, Thecla; who came from Iconium at eighteen years of age; afterwards, partly in journeys and travels, and partly in a monastic life in the cave, she lived seventy-two years; so that she was ninety years old when the Lord translated her.

16 Thus ends her life.

17 The day which is kept sacred to her memory, is the twenty-fourth of September, to the glory of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, now and for evermore. Amen.

Footnotes

^106:1 There being something wanting here in the old Greek MS., it is supplied out of the old Latin version, which is in the Bodleian Library, Cod. Digb. 39, rather than out of Simeon Metaphrastes, a writer of the eleventh century.

The Lost Books of the Bible, [1926], at sacred-texts.com

[p. 112]

The FIRST EPISTLE of CLEMENT to the CORINTHIANS.

Clement was a disciple of Peter, and afterwards Bishop of Rome. Clemens Alexandrinus calls him an apostle. Jerome says he was an apostolical man, and Rufinus that he was almost an apostle. Eusebius calls this the wonderful Epistle of St. Clement, and says that it was publicly read in the assemblies of the primitive church. It is included in one of the ancient collections of the Canon Scripture. Its genuineness has been much questioned, particularly by Photius, patriarch of Constantinople in the ninth century, who objects that Clement speaks of worlds beyond the ocean; that he has not written worthily of the divinity of Christ; and that to prove the possibility of a future resurrection, he introduces the fabulous story of the phoenix’s revival from its own ashes. To the latter objection, Archbishop Wake replies that the generality of the ancient Fathers have made use of the same instance in proof of the same point; and asks if St. Clement really believed that there was such a bird, and that it did revive out of the cinders of the body after burning, where was the great harm either in giving credit to such a wonder, or, believing it, to make such a use as he here does of it?–The present is the Archbishop’s translation from the ancient Greek copy of the Epistle, which is at the end of the celebrated Alexandrine MS. of the Septuagint and New Testament, presented by Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria, to King Charles the First, now in the British Museum. The Archbishop, in prefacing his translation, esteems it a great blessing that this “Epistle” was at last so happily found out for the increase and confirmation both of our faith and our charity.

CHAP. I.

He commends them for their excellent order and piety in Christ, before their schism broke out.

THE Church of God which [*1] is at Rome, to the Church of God which is at Corinth, [*2] elect, sanctified [*3] by the will of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord: grace and peace from the Almighty God, by Jesus Christ be multiplied unto you. [*4]

2 Brethren, the [*5] sudden and unexpected dangers and calamities that have fallen upon us, have, we fear, made us the more slow in our consideration of those things which you inquired of us:

3 [*6] As also of that wicked and detestable sedition, so [*7] unbecoming the elect of God, which a few heady and self-willed men have fomented to such a degree of madness, that your venerable and renowned name, so worthy of all men to be beloved, is greatly blasphemed thereby.

4 For who that has [*8] ever been among you has not experimented the firmness of your faith, [*9] and its fruitfulness in all good works; and admired the temper and moderation of your religion in Christ; and published abroad the magnificence of your hospitality, and thought you happy in your perfect and certain knowledge of the Gospel?

[p. 113]

Click to enlarge
CHRIST’S ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM, AND CHRIST BEFORE PILATE. FROM INTAGLIOS IN A BOX OF ROCK CRYSTAL, BY A EARLY VENETIAN ARTIST.

5 For ye did all things without respect of persons and walked [*1] according to the laws of God; being subject to those who had the rule over you, and giving the honour that was fitting to the [*2] aged among you.

6 Ye commanded the young men to think those things that were modest and grave.

7 The women ye exhorted to do all things with an unblameable and seemly, and pure conscience; loving their own husbands, as was fitting: and that keeping themselves within the [*3] bounds of a due obedience, they should [*4] order their houses gravely, with all [*5] discretion.

8. [*6] Ye were all of you humble minded, not [*7] boasting of any thing: desiring rather to be subject than to govern; to [*8] give than to receive; being [*9] content with the portion God hath dispensed to you;

9 And hearkening diligently to his word, ye [*10] were enlarged in your bowels, having his [*11] suffering always before your eyes.

10 Thus a firm, and [*12] blessed and profitable peace was given unto you; and an unsatiable desire of doing good; and a plentiful effusion of the Holy Ghost was upon all of you.

11 And being full of [*13] good designs, ye did with [*14] great readiness of mind, and with a religious confidence stretch forth your hands to God Almighty; beseeching him to be merciful unto you, if in any thing ye had unwillingly sinned against him.

12 Ye contended day and night for the whole brotherhood; that [*15] with compassion and a good conscience, the number of his elect might be saved.

13 Ye were sincere, and without offence towards each other; not mindful of injuries; all sedition and schism was an abomination unto you.

14 Ye bewailed every one his neighbour’s sins, esteeming their defects your own.

15 Ye [*16] were kind one to another without grudging; being ready to every good work. And being adorned with a conversation altogether virtuous and religious, ye did all things in the fear of God; whose [*17]commandments were written upon the tables of your heart.

CHAP. II.

How their divisions began.

ALL honour and enlargement was given unto you; and so was fulfilled that which is written, [*18] my beloved did eat and drink, he was enlarged and waxed fat, and he kicked.

2 From hence came emulation, and envy, and strife, and sedition; persecution and [*19] disorder, war and captivity.

3 So they who were of no renown, lifted up themselves against the honourable; those of no reputation, against those who were in respect; the foolish against the wise; the young men against the aged.

[p. 114]

4 Therefore righteousness and peace are departed from you, because every one hath forsaken the fear of God; and is grown blind in his faith; nor walketh by the rule of God’s commandments nor liveth as is fitting in Christ:

5 But every one [*1] follows his own wicked lusts: having taken up an unjust and wicked envy, by which death first entered into the world.

CHAP. III.

Envy and emulation the original of all strife and disorder. Examples of the mischiefs they have occasioned.

FOR thus it is written, [*2] And in process of time it came to pass that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock, and of the fat thereof:

2 And the Lord had respect unto Abel, and to his offering. But unto Cain and unto his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very sorrowful, and his countenance fell.

3 And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou sorrowful? And why is thy countenance fallen? [*3] If thou shalt offer aright, but not divide aright, hast thou not sinned? Hold thy peace: unto thee shall be his [*4] desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

4 And Cain said unto Abel his brother, Let us go down into the field. And it came to pass, as they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

5 Ye see, brethren, how envy and emulation wrought [*5] the death of a brother. For [*6] this our father [*7] Jacob fled from the face of his brother Esau.

6 It was this that caused [*8] Joseph to be persecuted even unto death, and to come into bondage. Envy forced [*9] Moses to flee from the face of Pharaoh king of Egypt, when he heard his own countrymen ask him, [*10] Who made thee a Judge, and a ruler over us? Wilt thou kill me as thou didst the Egyptian yesterday?

7 Through envy Aaron and Miriam were [*11] shut out of the camp, from the rest of the congregation seven days.

8 [*12] Emulation [*13] sent Dathan and Abiram quick into the [*14] grave because they raised up a sedition against Moses the servant of God.

9 For this David [*15] was not only hated of strangers, but was persecuted even by Saul the king of Israel.

10 But [*16] not to insist upon antient examples, let us come to those [*17] worthies that have been nearest to us; and take the brave examples of our own age.

11 Through zeal and envy, [*18] the most faithful and righteous [*19] pillars of the church have been persecuted even to the most grievous deaths.

12 Let us set before our eyes the holy Apostles; Peter by unjust envy underwent not one or

[p. 115]

two, but many [*1] sufferings; [*2] til at last being martyred, he went to the place of glory that was due unto him.

13 [*3] For the same cause did Paul in like manner receive the reward of his patience. Seven times [*4] he was in bonds; he was whipped, was stoned; he preached both in the East and in the West; [*5] leaving behind him the glorious report of his faith:

14 And so having taught the whole world righteousness, and for that end travelled even to the utmost bounds of the West; he at last suffered martyrdom [*6] by the command of the governors,

15 And departed out of the world, and went unto his holy place; being become a most eminent pattern of patience unto all ages.

«- Previous | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 | View All | Next -»

About Independent Press 509 Articles
Methinks I am a conspiracy theorist. Art thou? Thou block, thou stone, thou worse than senseless thing, for whilst thou slept didst this become a badge of honor. Informed dissent shall always prevail, wherefore art thou worthy, or art thou this unwholesome fool in the group conformity experiment herein?