16 To these [*7] Holy Apostles were joined a very great number of others, who having through envy undergone in like manner many pains and torments, have [*8] left a glorious example to us.
17 For [*9] this not only men but women have been persecuted: [*10] and having suffered very grievous and [*11] cruel punishments, have finished the course of their faith with firmness; and though weak in body, yet received a glorious reward.
18 [*12] This has alienated the minds even of women from their husbands; and changed what was once said by our father Adam; [*13] This is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh.
19 In a word, envy and strife, have overturned [*14] whole cities, and rooted out great nations from off the earth.
1 He exhorts them to live by the rules, and repent of their divisions, and they shall be forgiven.
THESE things, beloved, we [*15] write unto you, not only [*16] for your instruction, but also for our own remembrance.
2 For we are all in the same [*17] lists, and the same combat is [*18] prepared for us all.
3 Wherefore let us lay aside all vain and empty cares; and let us come up to the glorious and venerable rule of our holy calling.
4 [*19] Let us consider what is good, and acceptable and well-pleasing in the sight of him that made us.
5 Let us look steadfastly to the blood of Christ, and see how precious his blood is in the sight of God: which being shed for our salvation, [*20] has obtained the grace of repentance for all the world.
6 Let us [*21] search into all the ages that have gone before us; and let us learn that our Lord has [*22] in every one of them still given place for repentance to all such as would [*23] turn to him.
7 [*24] Noah preached repentance; and as many as hearkened to him were saved. [*25] Jonah denounced[p. 116]
destruction against the Ninevites:
8 Howbeit they repenting of their sins, appeased God by their prayers: and [*1] were saved, though they were strangers to the covenant of God.
9 Hence we find how all the ministers of the grace of God have spoken by the Holy Spirit of repentance. And even the Lord of all has himself [*2] declared with an oath concerning it;
10 [*3] As I live, saith the Lord, I desire not the death of a sinner, [*4] but that he should repent. Adding farther this good sentence, saying: [*5] Turn from your iniquity, O house of Israel.
11 [*6] Say unto the children of my people, Though your sins should reach from earth to heaven; and though they shall be redder than scarlet, and blacker than sackcloth; yet if ye shall turn to me with all your heart, and shall call me father, I will hearken to you, as to a holy people.
12 And in another place he saith on this wise: [*7] Wash ye, make you clean; put away [*8] the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
13 Come now and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they he red as crimson, [*9] they shall be as wool.
14 If ye he willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land; but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
15 These things has God established by his Almighty will, desiring that all his beloved should come to repentance.
1 He sets before them the examples of holy men, whose piety is recorded in the Scriptures.
WHEREFORE let us obey his excellent and glorious will; and [*10] imploring his mercy and goodness, let us fall down upon our faces before him, and [*11] cast ourselves upon his mercy; laying aside all [*12] vanity, and contention, and envy which leads unto death.
2 Let us look up to those who have the most perfectly ministered to his excellent glory. Let us take Enoch for our example; who being found righteous in obedience, was [*13] translated, and his death was not [*14] known.
3 Noah [*15] being proved to be faithful, did by his ministry preach [*16] regeneration to the world; and the Lord saved by him all the living creatures, that went [*17] with one accord into the ark.
4 [*18] Abraham, who was called God's friend, was in like manner found faithful; inasmuch as he obeyed the [*19] commands of God.
5 By obedience [*20] he went out of his own country, and from[p. 117]
his own kindred, and from his father's house: that so forsaking a small country, and a weak affinity, and a little house, he might inherit the promises of God.
6 For thus God said unto him; [*1] get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee.
7 And I will make thee a great nation, and will bless thee, and make thy name great, and thou shalt be blessed. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
8 And again when he separated himself from Lot, God said unto him; [*2] Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward and southward and eastward and [*3] westward for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.
9 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth, so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.
10 And again he saith: and [*4] God brought forth Abraham, and said unto him; Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: so shall thy seed be.
11 And Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness.
12 Through faith and hospitality, [*5] he had a son given him in his old age; and through obedience he offered him up in sacrifice to God, upon one of the mountains which God showed unto him.
1 And particularly such as have been eminent for their kindness and charity to their neighbours.
BY [*6] hospitality and godliness was Lot saved out of Sodom, when all the country round about was [*7] destroyed by fire and brimstone:
2 The Lord thereby making it manifest, that he will not forsake those that trust in him; but [*8] will bring the disobedient to punishment and correction.
3 For his wife who went out with him, being of a different mind, [*9] and not continuing in the same obedience, was for that reason [*10] set forth for an example, being turned into a pillar of salt unto this day.
4 That so all men may know, that those who are double minded, and distrustful of the power of God, are [*11] prepared for condemnation, and to be a sign to all succeeding ages.
5 [*12] By faith and hospitality was Rahab the harlot saved. For when the spies were sent by Joshua the son of Nun, to search out Jericho and the king of Jericho knew that they were come to spy out his country; [*13] he sent men to take them, so that they might be put to death.
6 [*14] Rahab therefore being hospitable, received them, and hid[p. 118]
them under the stalks of flax, on the top of her house.
7 And when the [*1] messengers that were sent by the king came unto her, and asked her, saying, [*2] There came men unto thee to spy out the land, bring them forth, for so hath the king commanded: She answered, [*3] The two men whom ye seek came unto me, but presently they departed, and are gone: [*4] Not discovering them unto them.
8 Then she said to the [*5] spies, [*6] I know that the Lord your God [*7] has given this city into your hands; for the fear of you is fallen upon all that dwell therein. When, therefore, ye shall have taken it [*8] ye shall save me and my father's house.
9 And they answered her, saying, It shall be as thou hast spoken to us. [*9] Therefore, when thou shalt know that we are near thou shalt gather all thy family together upon the housetop, and they shall be saved: but all that shall be found without thy house, shall be destroyed.
10 [*10] And they gave her moreover a sign: that she should hang out of her house a scarlet rope; [*11] sheaving thereby, that by the blood of our Lord, there should be redemption to all that believe and hope in God. Ye see, beloved, how there was not only faith, but prophecy too in this woman.
1 What rules are given for this purpose.
LET us, therefore, humble ourselves, brethren, laying aside all pride, and boasting, and foolishness, and anger: And let us do as it is written.
2 For thus saith the Holy Spirit; [*12] Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, nor the strong man in his strength, nor the rich man in his riches; but let him that glorieth, glory in the Lord, to seek him, and to do judgment and justice.
3 Above all, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, which he spake [*13] concerning equity and long suffering, [*14] saying,
4 [*15] Be ye merciful and ye shall obtain mercy; forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: as ye do, so shall it be done unto you: as ye give, so shall it be given unto you: as ye judge, so shall ye be judged; as ye are kind to others so shall God be kind to you: with what measure ye mete, with the same shall it be measured to you again.
5 By this command, and by these rules, let us establish ourselves, that so we may always walk obediently to his holy words; being humble minded:
6 For so says [*16] the Holy Scripture; [*17] upon whom shall I look, even upon him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and that trembles at my word.
7 It is, therefore, just and [*18] righteous, men and brethren, that we should become obedient unto God, rather than follow[p. 119]
such as [*1] through pride and sedition, have made themselves the ring-leaders of a detestable emulation.
8 For it is not an ordinary harm that we shall do ourselves but rather a very great danger that we shall run, if we shall rashly give up ourselves to the wills of men who [*2] promote strife and seditions, to turn us aside from that which is fitting.
9 But let us be kind to one another, according to the compassion and sweetness of him that made us.
10 For it is written, [*3] The merciful shall inherit the earth; and they that are without evil shall be left upon it: [*4] but the transgressors shall perish from off the face of it.
11 And again he saith, [*5] I have seen the wicked in great power and spreading himself like the cedar of Libanus. I passed by, and lo! he was not; I sought his place, but it could not be found.
12 Keep innocently, and do the thing that is right, for there shall be a remnant to the peaceable man.
13 Let us, therefore, hold fast to those who [*6] religiously follow peace; and not to such as [*7] only pretend to desire.
14 For he saith in a certain place, [*8] This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
15 And again, They [*9] bless with their mouths, [*10] but curse in their hearts.
16 And again he saith, [*11] They loved him with their mouths, and with their tongues they lied to him. For their heart was not r right with him, neither were they, faithful in his covenant.
17 [*12] Let all deceitful lips become dumb, and the tongue that speaketh proud things. Who have said, [*13] with our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own, who is Lord over us.
18 For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise saith the Lord; I will set him in safety, I will deal confidently with him.
He advises them to be humble; and that from the examples of Jesus and of holy men in all ages.
FOR Christ is theirs who are humble, and not who exalt themselves over his flock. The sceptre of the majesty of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, came not in the [*14] shew of pride and arrogance, [*15] though he could have done so; but with humility as the Holy Ghost had before spoken concerning him.
2 For thus he saith, Lord, [*16] who hath believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground.
3 He hath no form or comeliness, and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.[p. 120]
4 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
5 And we hid, as it were, our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
6 Surely he hath born our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
7 But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
8 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
9 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
10 He was taken from prison, and from judgment; and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living, for the transgressions of my people was he stricken.
11 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
12 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him, he hath put him to grief; when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days; and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
13 He shall see of the travail of his soul and shall be satisfied; by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many: for he shall bear their iniquities.
14 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul into death; and he was numbered with the transgressors, and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
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