19 For the Lord hath sworn by his Son, that whoso denieth his Son and him, being afraid of his life, he will also deny him in the [*6] world that is to come.

[p. 201]

20 But those who shall never deny him, he will of his exceeding great mercy be favourable unto them.

21 But thou, O Hermas! remember not the [*1] evils which thy sons have done, neither neglect thy sister, but take care that they amend of their former sins.

22 For they will be instructed by this doctrine, if thou shalt not be mindful of what they have done wickedly.

23 For the remembrance of evils worketh death, but the forgetting of them life eternal.

24 But thou, O Hermits! hast undergone a great many worldly troubles for the offences of thy house, because thou hast neglected them, as things that did not belong unto thee; and thou art wholly taken up with thy great business.

25 Nevertheless, for this cause shalt thou be saved, that thou hast not departed from the living God, and thy simplicity and singular continency shall preserve thee, if thou shalt continue in them.

26 Yea, they shall save all such as do such things, and walk in innocence and simplicity.

27 They who are of this kind shall prevail against all impiety, and continue until life eternal.

28 Happy are all they that do righteousness, they shall not be consumed for ever.

29 But thou wilt say, Behold there is a great trial coming. If it seem good to thee, deny him again.

30 The Lord is nigh to them that turn to him, as it is written in the book of Heldam and Modal, [*2] who prophesied to the people of Israel in the wilderness.

31 Moreover, brethren, it was revealed to me, as I was I sleeping, by a very goodly young man, saying unto me, What thinkest thou of that old woman from whom thou receivedst the book; who is she? I answered, a Sybil.

32 Thou art mistaken, said he, she is not. I replied, Who is she then, sir? He answered me, It is the church of God.

33 And I said unto him, Why then does she appear old? She is therefore, said he, an old woman, because she was [*3] the first of all the creation, and the world was made for her.

34 After this I saw a vision at home in my own house, and the old woman whom I had seen before, came to me and asked me, whether I had yet delivered [*4] her book to the elders of the church? And I answered, that I had not yet.

35 She replied, Thou hast well done, for I have certain words more to tell thee But when I shall have finished all the words, they shall be clearly understood by the elect.

36 [*5] And thou shalt write two books, and send one to Clement and one to Grapte. For Clement shall send it to the foreign cities, because it is permitted to him so to do: but Grapte shall admonish the widows and orphans.

37 But thou shalt read in this city with the elders of the church.

VISION III.

Of the building of the church triumphant, and of the several sorts of reprobates.

THE vision which I saw, brethren, was this.

[p. 202]

2 When I had often fasted and prayed unto the Lord, that he would manifest unto me the revelation, which he had promised by the old woman to shew unto me; the same night she appeared unto me, and said unto me:

3 Because thou dost thus afflict thyself, and art so desirous to know all things, come into the field, where thou wilt, and about the sixth hour, I will appear unto thee, and shew thee what thou must see.

4 I asked her, saying: Lady, into what part of the field? She answered, wherever thou wilt, only choose a good and a private place. And before I began to speak and tell her the place, she said unto me: I will come where thou wilt.

5 I was therefore, brethren, in the field, and I observed the hours and came into the place where I had appointed her to come.

6 And I beheld a bench placed; it was a linen pillow, and over it spread a covering of fine linen.

7 When I saw these things ordered in this manner, and that there was nobody in the place, I began to be astonished, and my hair stood on end, and a kind of horror seized me; for I was alone.

8 But, being come to myself, and calling to mind the glory of Gad, and taking courage, I fell down upon my knees, and began again to confess my sins as before.

9 And whilst I was doing this, the old woman came thither with the six young men whom I had seen before, and stood behind me as I was praying, and heard me praying and confessing my sins unto the Lord.

10 And touching me, she said: Leave off to pray now only for thy sins; pray also for righteousness, that thou mayest receive part of her in thy house.

11 And she lifted me up from the place, and took me by the hand, and brought me to the seat; and said to the young men; go, and build.

12 As soon as they were departed, and we were alone, she said unto me: sit here. I answered her: Lady, let those who are elder sit first. She replied, Sit down as I bid you.

13 And when I would have sat on the right side, she suffered me not, but made a sign to me with her hand, that I should sit on the left.

14 As I was therefore musing, and full of sorrow, that she would not suffer me to sit on the right side, she said unto me, Hermes, why art thou sad?

15 The place which is on the right hand is theirs who have already attained unto God, and have suffered for his name-sake. But there is yet a great deal remaining unto thee, before thou Banat sit with them.

16 But continue as thou doest in thy sincerity, and thou shalt sit with them: as all others shall that do their works, and shall bear what they have borne.

17 I said to her: Lady, I would know what it is that they have suffered? Hear then, said she: wild beasts, scourgings, imprisonments, and crosses for his name-sake.

18 For this cause the right hand of holiness belongs to them, and to all others as many as shall suffer for the name of God; but the left belongs to the rest.

19 Howbeit the gifts and the promises belong to both, to them on the right, and to those on the left hand; only that sitting on the right hand they have some glory above the others.

20 But thou art desirous to sit on the right hand with them,

[p. 203]

and yet thy [*1] defects are many. But thou shalt be purged from thy defects, as also all who doubt not shall be cleansed from all the sins which they have committed unto this day.

21 And when she had said this she would have departed.

22 Wherefore, falling down before her feet, I began to entreat her, for the Lord’s sake, hat she would shew me the vision which she had promised.

23 Then she again took me by the hand, and lifted me up, and made me sit upon the seat on the left side; and holding up a certain bright wand, said unto me, Seest thou that great thing? I replied, Lady, I see nothing.

24 She answered, Dost thou not see over against thee a great tower, which is built upon the water, with bright square stones?

25 For the tower was built upon a square by these six young men that came with her.

26 But many thousand of other men brought stones; some drew them out of the deep, others carried them from the ground, and gave them to the six young men. And they took them and built.

27 As for those stones which were drawn out of the deep, they put them all into the building; for they were polished, and their squares exactly answered one another, and so one was joined in such wise to the other, that there was no space to be seen where they joined, insomuch that the whole tower appeared to be built as it were of one stone.

28 But as for the other stones that were taken off from the ground, some of them they rejected, others they fitted into the building.

29 As for those which were rejected, some they cut out, and cast them at a distance from the tower; but many others of them lay round about the tower, which they made no use of in the building.

30 For some of these were rough, others had clefts in them, others were white and round, not proper for the building of the tower.

31 But I saw the other stones cast afar off from the tower, and falling into the high-way, and yet not continuing in the way, but were rolled from the way into a desert place.

32 Others I saw falling into the fire and burning; others fell near the water, yet could not roll themselves into it, though very desirous to fall into the water.

33 And when she had shewed me these things she would have departed: but I said to her, Lady, what doth it profit me to see these things, and not underw stand what they mean?

34 She answered and said unto me: You are very cunning, in that you are desirous to know those things which [*2] relate to the tower. Yea, said I, Lady, that I may declare them unto the brethren, and they may rejoice, and hearing these things may glorify God with great glory.

35 Then she said, Many indeed shall hear them, and when they shall have heard them, some shall rejoice, and others weep. And yet even these, if they shall repent, shall rejoice too.

36 Hear therefore what I shall say concerning the parable of the tower, and after this be no longer importunate with me about the revelation.

[p. 204]

37 For these revelations have an end, seeing they are fulfilled. But thou dost not leave off to desire revelations, for thou art very [*1] urgent.

38 As for the tower which thou seest built, it is myself, namely the church, which have appeared to thee both now and heretofore. Wherefore ask what thou wilt concerning the tower, and I will reveal it unto thee, that thou mayst rejoice with the saints.

39 I said unto her, Lady, because thou hast thought me once worthy to receive from thee the revelation of all these things, declare them unto me.

40 She answered me, Whatsoever is fit to be revealed unto thee shall be revealed: [*2] only let thy heart be with the Lord, and doubt not, whatsoever thou shalt see.

41 I asked her, Lady, why is the tower built upon the [*3] water? She replied, I said before to thee that thou wert very wise to inquire diligently concerning the building, therefore thou shalt find the truth.

42 Hear therefore why the tower is built upon the water: because your life is and shall be saved by water. For [*4] it is founded by the word of the almighty and honourable name, and is supported by the invisible power and virtue of God.

43 And I answering, said unto her, These things are very admirable; but, lady, who are those six young men that build?

44 They are, said she, the angels of God, which were first appointed, and to whom the Lord has delivered all his creatures, to frame and build them up, and to rule over them. For by these the building of the tower shall be finished.

45 And who are the rest who bring them stones?

46 They also are the holy angels of the Lord; but the other are more excellent than these. Wherefore when the whole building of the tower shall be finished, they shall all feast together beside the tower, and shall glorify God, because the structure of the tower is finished.

47 I asked her, saying, I would know the condition of the stones, and the meaning of them, what it is?

48 She answering, said unto me, Art thou better than all others that this should be revealed unto thee? For others are both before thee, and better than thou art, to whom these visions should be made manifest.

49 Nevertheless, that the name of God may he glorified, it has been, and shall be revealed unto thee, for the sake of those who are doubtful, and think in their hearts whether these things are so or not.

50 Tell them that all these things are true, and that there is nothing in them that is not true; but all are firm and truly established.

51 Hear now then concerning the stones that are in the building.

52 The square and white stones which agree exactly in their joints, are the apostles, and bishops, and doctors, and ministers, who through the mercy of God have come in, and governed, and taught and ministered holily and modestly to the elect of God, both they that have fallen asleep, and which yet remain; and have always agreed with them, and have had peace within

[p. 205]

themselves, and have heard each other.

53 For which cause their joints exactly meet together in the building of the tower.

54 They which are drawn out of the deep and put into the building, and whose joints agree with the other stones which are already built, are those which are already fallen asleep, and have suffered for the sake of the Lord’s name.

55 And what are the other stones, lady, that are brought from the earth? I would know what are they.

56 She answered, They which lie upon the ground and are not polished, are those which God has approved, because they have walked in [*1] the law of the Lord, and directed their ways in his commandments.

57 They which are brought and put in the building of the tower, are the young in faith and the faithful. And these are admonished by the angels to do well because that iniquity is not found in them.

58 But who are those whom they rejected, and laid beside the tower?

59 They are such as have sinned and are willing to repent; for which cause they are not cast far from the tower, because they will be useful for the building, if they shall repent.

60 They therefore that are yet to repent, if they shall repent, shall become strong in the faith; that is, if they repent now, whilst the tower is building. For if the building shall be finished there will then be no place for them to be put in, but they shall be rejected; for he only has this privilege who shall now be out into the tower.

61 But would you know who they are that were cut out, and cast afar off from the tower? [*2] Lady, said I, I desire it.

«- 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 -»

CC BY 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.