17 [*4] Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? When thou seest the naked that thou cover him, and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh.
18 [*5] Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thy health shall spring forth speedily; and thy righteousness shall go before thee, the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward.
19 [*6] Then shalt thou call and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry and he shall say, Here I am. If thou put away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; [*7] and if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry; and satisfy the afflicted soul.
20 In this therefore brethren, God has manifested his [*8] foreknowledge and love for us; because the people which he has purchased to his beloved Son were to believe in [*9] sincerity; and therefore he has shewn these things to all of us, that we should not run as proselytes to [*10] the Jewish law.
The prophecies of Daniel, concerning the ten kings, and the coming of Christ.
WHEREFORE it is necessary that searching diligently into those [*11] things which are near to come to pass, we should write to you what may serve to keep you whole.
2 To which end let us flee from every evil work and hate the errors of the present time, that we may be [*12] happy in that which is to come:
3 Let us not give ourselves the liberty of disputing with the wicked and sinners; lest we should chance in time to become like unto them.
4 For the consummation of [*13] sin is come, as it is written, as the prophet Daniel says. And for this end the Lord hath shortened the times and the days, that his beloved might hasten his coming to his inheritance.
5 For so the prophet speaks; [*14] There shall ten kings reign in the heart, and there shall rise last of all another little one, and he shall humble three kings.
6 And again Daniel speaks in like manner concerning the kingdoms; [*15] and I saw the fourth beast dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had ten horns. [*16] I considered the horns, and behold there came up among them another little horn, before which were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots. [*17]
7 We ought therefore to understand this also: And I beseech you as one of your own brethren, loving you all beyond my own life, that you look well to yourselves, and be not like to those who[p. 148] [paragraph continues] [*1] add sin to sin, and say: That their covenant is ours also. Nay, but it is ours only: for they have for ever lost that which Moses received.
8 For thus saith the Scripture: And Moses continued fasting forty days and forty nights in the Mount; and he received the covenant from the Lord, even the two tables of stone, written by the hand of God.
9 But having turned themselves to idols they lost it; as the Lord also said to Moses; Moses, [*2] go down quickly, for thy people which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt, have corrupted themselves, and turned aside from the way which I commanded them. [*3] And Moses cast the two tables out of his hands: and their covenant was broken; that the love of Jesus might be sealed in your hearts, unto the hope of his faith.
10 Wherefore let us give heed unto the last times. For all the [*4] time past of our life, and our faith will profit us nothing; unless we continue to hate what is evil, and to withstand the future temptations. So the Son of God tells us; Let us resist all iniquity and hate it.
11 Wherefore consider the works of the evil way. [*5] Do not withdraw yourselves from others, as if you were already justified; but coming altogether into one place, inquire what is agreeable to and profitable for the beloved of God. For the Scripture saith; [*6] Wo unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their sight.
12 Let us become spiritual, a perfect temple to God. As much as in us lies let us meditate upon the fear of God; and strive to the utmost of our power to keep his commandments; that we may rejoice in his righteous judgments.
13 For God will judge the world without respect of persons: and every one shall receive according to his works.
14 If a man shall be good, his righteousness shall go before him; if wicked, the reward of his wickedness shall follow him.
15 Take heed therefore lest sitting still, now that we are called, we fall asleep in our sins; and the wicked one getting the dominion over us, stir us up, [*7] and shut us out of the kingdom of the Lord.
16 Consider this also: although you have seen so great signs and wonders done among the people of the Jews, yet this notwithstanding the Lord hath forsaken them.
17 Beware therefore, lest it happen to us; as it is written. [*8] There may be many called, but few chosen.
That Christ was to suffer: proved from the prophecies concerning him.
FOR this cause did our Lord vouchsafe to give up his body to destruction, that through the forgiveness of our sins we might be sanctified; that is, by the sprinkling of his blood.
2 Now for what concerns the things that are written about him, some belong to the people of the Jews, and some to us.
3 For thus saith the Scripture: [*9] He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, and by his blood we are[p. 149]
healed. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before his shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.
4 Wherefore we ought the more to give thanks unto God, for that he hath both declared unto us what is passed, [*1] and not suffered us to be without understanding of those things that are to come.
5 But to them he saith; [*2] The nests are not unjustly spread for the birds.
6 This he spake, because a man will justly perish, if having the knowledge of the way of truth, he shall nevertheless not refrain himself from the way of darkness.
7 And for this cause the Lord was content to suffer for our souls, although he be the Lord of the whole earth; to whom God said before the beginning of the world, [*3] Let us make man after our own image and likeness.
8 Now how he suffered for us, seeing it was by men that he underwent it, [*4] I will shew you.
9 The prophets having received from him the gift of prophecy, spake before concerning him:
10 But he, that he might abolish death, and make known the resurrection from the dead, was content, as it was necessary, to appear in the flesh, that he might make good the promise before given to our fathers, and preparing himself a new people, might demonstrate to them whilst he was upon earth, that after the resurrection he would judge the world.
11 And finally teaching the people of Israel, and doing many wonders and signs among them, he preached to them, and shewed the exceeding great love which he bare towards them.
12 And when he chose his apostles, which were afterwards to publish his Gospel, he took men who had been very great sinners; that thereby he might plainly shew, [*5] That he came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.
13 Then he clearly manifested himself to be the Son of God. For had he not come in the flesh, how should men have been able to look upon him, that they might be saved?
14 Seeing if they beheld only the sun, which was the work of his hands, and shall hereafter cease to be, they are not able to endure steadfastly to look against the rays of it.
15 Wherefore the Son of God came in the flesh for this cause, that he might fill up the measure of their iniquity, who have persecuted his prophets unto death. And for the same reason also he suffered.
16 For God hath said of the [*6] stripes of his flesh, that they were from them. And, [*7] I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered.
17 Thus he would suffer, because it behooved him to suffer upon the cross.
18 For thus one saith, prophesying concerning him; [*8] Spare my soul from the sword. And again, Pierce my flesh from thy fear.
19 And again, the congregation of wicked doers rose up against me, [*9] (They have pierced my hands and my feet).
20 And again he saith, I gave[p. 150]
my back to the smiters, [*1] and my face I set as an hard rock.
The subject continued.
AND when he had fulfilled the commandment of God, What says he? [*2] Who will contend with me? Let him stand against me: or who is he that will me? Let him draw near to the servant of the Lord. Wo be to you! [*3] Because ye shall all wax old as a garment, the moth shall eat you up.
2 And again the prophet adds, [*4] He is put for a stone for stumbling. [*5] Behold I lay in Zion for a foundation, a precious stone, a choice corner stone; an honourable stone. And what follows? And he that hopeth in him shall live for ever.
3 What then? Is our hope built upon a stone? God forbid. But because the Lord hath [*6] hardened his flesh against sufferings, he saith, [*7] I have put me as a firm rock.
4 And again the prophet adds; [*8] The stone which the builders refused has become the head of the corner. And again he saith; [*9] This is the great and wonderful day which the Lord hath made. [*10] I write these things the more plainly to you that ye may understand: [*11] For indeed I could be content even to die for your sakes.
5 But what saith the prophet again? [*12] The counsel of the wicked encompassed me about. [*13] They came about me, as bees about the honey-comb: and, [*14] Upon my vesture they cast lots.
6 Forasmuch then as our Saviour was to appear in the flesh and suffer, his passion was hereby foretold.
7 For thus saith the prophet against Israel: [*15] Wo be to their soul, because they have taken wicked counsel against themselves, saying, let us [*16] lay snares for the righteous, because he is unprofitable to us.
8 Moses also in like manner speaketh to them; [*17] Behold thus saith the Lord God; Enter ye into the good land of which the Lord hath sworn to Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, that he would give it you, and possess it; a land flowing with milk and honey.
9 Now what the spiritual meaning of this is, learn; [*18] It is as if it had been said, Put your trust in Jesus, who shall be manifested to you in the flesh. For man is the earth which suffers: forasmuch as out of the [*19] substance of the earth Adam was formed.
10 What therefore does he mean when he says, Into a good land flowing with milk and honey? Blessed be our Lord, who has given us wisdom, and a heart to understand his secrets. For so says the prophet, [*20] Who shall understand the hard sayings of the Lord? [*21] But he that[p. 151]
is wise, and intelligent, and that loves his Lord.
11 Seeing therefore he has renewed us by the remission of our sins, he has [*1] put us into another frame, that we should have souls [*2] like those of children, forming us again himself [*3] by the spirit.
12 For thus the Scripture saith concerning us, [*4] where it introduceth the Father speaking to the Son; [*5] Let us make man after our likeness and similitude; and let them have dominion over the beasts of the earth, and over the fowls of the air, and the fish of the sea.
13 And when the Lord saw the man which he had formed, that behold he was very good; he said, [*6] Increase and multiply, and replenish the earth. And this he spake to his son.
14 I will now shew you, how he made us [*7] a new creature, in the latter days.
15 The Lord saith; [*8] Behold I will make the last as the first. Wherefore the prophet thus spake, [*9] Enter into the land flowing with milk and honey, and have dominion over it.
16 Wherefore ye see how we are again formed anew; as also he speaks by another prophet; [*10] Behold saith the Lord, I will take from them, that is, from those whom the spirit of the Lord foresaw, their hearts of stone, and I will put into them hearts of flesh.
17 Because he was about to be made manifest in the flesh and to dwell in us.
18 For, my brethren, the habitation of our heart is a [*11] holy temple unto the Lord. For the Lord saith again. [*12] In what place shall I appear before the Lord my God, and be glorified?
19 He answers I will confess unto thee in the congregation in the midst of my brethren; and will sing unto thee in the church of the saints.
20 Wherefore we are they whom he has brought into that good land.
21 [*13] But what signifies the milk and honey? Because as the child is nourished first with milk, and then with honey; so we being kept alive by the belief of his promises, and his word, shall live and have dominion over the land.
22 For he foretold above, saying, increase and multiply, and have dominion over the fishes, etc.
23 But who is there that is now able to have this dominion over the wild beasts, or fishes, or fowls of the air? For you know that to rule is to have power, that a man should be set over what he rules.
24 But forasmuch as this we have not now, he tells us when we shall have it; namely, when we shall become perfect, that we may be made the inheritors of the covenant of the Lord.
The scape-goat an evident type of this.
UNDERSTAND then my beloved children, that the good God hath before manifested all things unto us, that we might know to whom we ought always to give thanks and praise.
2 If therefore the Son of God whet is the Lord of all, and shall[p. 152]
come to judge both the quick and dead, hath suffered, that by his stripes we might live: let us believe that the Son of God could not have suffered but for us. But being crucified, they gave him vinegar and gall to drink.
3 Hear therefore how the priests of the temple did foreshew this also: [*1] the Lord by his command which was written, declared that whosoever did not fast the appointed fast he [*2] should die the death: because he also was himself one day to offer up his [*3] body for our sins; that so the type of what was done in [*4] Isaac might be fulfilled, who was offered upon the altar.
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