62 They are the children of iniquity, who believed only in hypocrisy, but departed not from their evil ways; for this cause they shall not be saved, because they are not of any use in the building by reason of their sins.
63 Wherefore they are cut out, and cast afar off, because of the anger of the Lord, and because they have provoked him to anger against them.
64 As for the great number of other stones which thou hast seen placed about the tower, but not put into the buildings; those which are rugged, are they who have known the truth, but have not continued in it, nor been joined to the saints, and therefore are unprofitable.
65 Those that have clefts in them, are they that keep up discord in their hearts against each other, and live not in peace; that are friendly when present with their brethren, but as soon as they are departed from one another, their wickedness still continues in their hearts: these are the clefts which are seen in those stones.
66 Those that are maimed and short, are they who have believed indeed, but still are in great measure full of wickedness: for this cause they are maimed and not whole.
67 But what are the white and round stones, lady, and which are not proper for the building of the tower?
68 She answering said unto[p. 206]
me: How long wilt thou continue foolish and without understanding, asking everything and discerning nothing?
69 They are such as have faith indeed, but have withal the riches of this present world. When therefore any [*1] troubles arise, for the sake of their riches and traffic, they deny the Lord.
70 I answering, said unto her, When therefore will they be profitable to the Lord? When their riches shall be cut away, says she, in which they take delight, then they will be profitable unto the Lord for his building.
71 For as a round stone, unless it be cut away, and cast somewhat off, its bulk cannot be made square, so they who are rich in this world, unless their riches be pared off, cannot be made profitable unto the Lord.
72 Learn this from thy own experience; when thou wert rich, thou wast unprofitable; but now thou art profitable, and fit for the life which thou hast undertaken; for thou also once wast one of those stones.
73 As for the rest of the stones which thou sawest cast afar off from the tower, and running in the way, and tumbled out of the way into desert places, they are such as have believed indeed, but through their doubting have forsaken the true way, thinking that they could find a better. But they wander and are miserable, going into desolate ways.
74 Then for those stones which fell into the fire and were burnt, they are those who have [*2] for ever departed from the living God; nor doth it ever come into their hearts to repent, by reason of the affection which they bear to their lusts and wickednesses which they commit.
75 And what are the rest which fell by the water, and could not roll into the water?
76 They are such as have heard the word, and were willing to be baptized in the name of the Lord; but considering the great holiness which the truth requires, have withdrawn themselves, and walked again after their wicked lusts.
77 Thus she finished the explication of the tower.
78 But I being still urgent, asked her, Is there repentance allowed to all those stones which are thus cast away. and were not suitable to the building of the tower; and shall they find place in this tower?
79 They may repent, said she, but they cannot come into this tower; but they shall be placed in a much lower rank, and this after that they shall have been afflicted, and fulfilled the days of their sins.
80 And for this cause they shall be removed, because they have received the word of righteousness: and then they shall be translated from their afflictions, if they shall have a true sense in their hearts of what they have done amiss.
81 But if they shall not have this sense in their hearts, they shall not be saved by reason of the hardness of their hearts.
82 When therefore I had done asking her concerning all these things, she said unto me, Wilt thou see somewhat else? And being desirous of seeing it, I became very cheerful of countenance.
83 She therefore looking back[p. 207]
upon me, and smiling a little, said unto me, Seest thou seven women about the tower? Lady, said I, I see them.
84 This tower, replied she, is supported by them, according to the command of the Lord: hear therefore the effects of them.
85 The first of them, which holds fast with her hand, is called Faith, by her the elect shall be saved. The next, which is girt up, and looks manly, is named Abstinence: she is the daughter of Faith.
86 Whosoever therefore shall follow her shall be happy in all his life, because he shall abstain from all evil works, believing that if he shall contain himself from all concupiscence, he shall be the heir of eternal life. And what, lady, said I, are the other five?
87 They are, replied she, the daughters of one another. The first of them is called Simplicity; the next Innocence; the third Modesty; then Discipline; and the last of all is Charity. When therefore thou shalt have fulfilled the works of their mother, thou shalt be able to do all things.
88 Lady, said I, I would know what particular virtue every one of these has.
89 Hear then, replied she; they have equal virtues, and their virtues are knit together, and follow one another as they were born.
90 From Faith proceeds Abstinence; from Abstinence, Simplicity; from Simplicity, Innocence; from Innocence, Modesty; from Modesty, Discipline and Charity. Therefore the works of these are holy, and chaste, and right.
91 Whoever therefore shall serve these, and hold fast to their works, he shall have his dwelling in the tower with the saints of God.
92 Then I asked her concerning the times, whether the end were now at hand;
93 But she cried out with a loud voice, saying, O foolish man! Dost thou not see the tower yet a building? When therefore the tower shall be finished, and built, it shall have an end; and indeed it shall soon be accomplished.
94 But do not ask me any more questions. What has been said may suffice thee and all the saints for the refreshment of your spirits. For these things have not been revealed to thee only, but that thou mayest make them manifest unto all.
95 For therefore, O Hermes, after three days thou must understand these words which I begin to speak unto thee, that thou mayest speak them in the ears of the saints; that when they shall have heard and done them, they may be cleansed from their iniquities, and thou together with them.
96 Hear me therefore, O my sons I have bred you up in much simplicity, and innocency, and modesty for the love of God, which has dropped down upon you in righteousness, that you should be sanctified and justified from all sin and wickedness; but ye will not cease from your evil doings.
97 Now therefore hearken unto me, and have peace one with another, and visit one another, and receive one another, and do not enjoy the creatures of God alone.
98 Give freely to them that are in need. For some by too free feeding contract an infirmity in their flesh, and do injury to their bodies; whilst the flesh of others.[p. 208]
who have not food, withers away, because they want sufficient nourishment, and the bodies are consumed.
99 Wherefore this intemperance is hurtful to you, who have, and do not communicate to them that want. Prepare for the judgment that is about to come upon you.
100 Ye that are the more eminent, search out them that are hungry, whilst the tower is yet unfinished. For when the tower shall be finished, ye shall be willing to do good, and shall not find any place in it.
101 Beware, therefore, ye that glory in your riches, lest perhaps they groan who are in want, and their sighing come up unto God, and ye be shut out with your goods without the gate of the tower.
102 Behold I now warn you who are set over the church, and love the highest seats, be not ye like unto those that work mischief.
103 And they indeed carry about their poison in boxes, but ye contain your poison and [*1] infection in your hearts, and will not purge them, and mix your sense with a pure heart, that ye may find mercy with the Great King.
104 Take heed, my children, that your dissensions deprive you not of your lives. How will ye instruct the elect of God, when ye yourselves want correction? Wherefore admonish one another, and be at peace among yourselves, that I, standing before your father, may give an account for you unto the Lord.
105 And when she had made an end of talking with me, the six young men that built, came and carried her to the tower; and four others took up the seat on which she sate, and they also went away again to the tower. I saw not the faces of these, for their backs were towards me.
106 As she was going away, I asked her, that she would reveal to me what concerned the three forms, in which she had appeared unto me.
107 But she answering said unto me, concerning these things thou must ask some other, that they may be revealed unto thee.
108 Now, brethren, in the first vision the last year, she appeared unto me exceeding old, and sitting in a chair.
109 In another vision, she had indeed a youthful face, but her flesh and hair were old; but she talked with me standing, and was more cheerful than the first time.
110 In the third vision, she was in all respects much younger, and comely to the eye; only she had the hair of an aged person; yet she looked cheerful, and sate upon a seat.
111 I was therefore very sad concerning these things, until I might understand the vision.
112 Wherefore I saw the same old woman in a vision of the night saying unto me, All prayer needeth humiliation. Fast, therefore, and thou shalt learn from the Lord that which thou dost ask. I fasted therefore one day.
113 The same night a young man appeared to me and said, Why dost thou thus often desire Revelations in thy prayers? Take heed that by asking many things, thou hurt not the body. Let these Revelations suffice thee.
114 Canst thou see more notable Revelations than those which thou hast already received?
115 I answered and said unto[p. 209]
Click to enlarge
MARY SUPPORTING THE DEAD CHRIST ON HER KNEES. FROM A GREEK PAINTING IN DISTEMPER ON WOOD; TWELFTH CENTURY.
him, Sir, I only ask this one thing upon the account of the three figures of the old woman that appeared to me, that the Revelation may be complete.
116 He answered me, You are not without understanding, but your doubts make you so; forasmuch as you have not your heart with the Lord.
117 I replied and said, But we shall learn these things more carefully from you.
118 Hear then, says he, concerning the figures about which you inquire.
119 And first, in the first vision she appeared to thee in the shape of an old woman sitting in a chair, because your old spirit was decayed, and without strength, by reason of your infirmities, and the doubtfulness of your heart.
120 For as they who are old have no hope of renewing themselves, nor expect any thing but their departure; so you being weakened through your worldly affairs gave yourself up to sloth, and cast not away your solicitude from yourself upon the Lord: and your sense was confused, [*1] and you grow old in your sadness.
121 But, sir, I would know why she sate upon a chair?
122 He answered, because every one that is weak sitteth upon a chair by reason of his infirmity, that his weakness may be upheld. Behold therefore the figure of the first vision.
123 In the second vision you saw her standing, and having a youthful face, and more cheerful than her former; but her flesh and her hair were ancient. Hear, said he, this parable also.
124 When any one grows old, he despairs of himself by reason of his infirmity and poverty, and expects nothing but the last day of his life.
125 But on a sudden an inheritance is left to him, and he hears of it, and rises; and being become cheerful, he puts on new strength. And he now no longer sits down, but stands, and is delivered from his former sorrow; and sits not, but acts manfully.
126 So you, having heard the Revelation which God revealed unto you because God had compassion upon you, and renewed your spirit, both laid aside your infirmities, and strength came to you, and you grew strong in the faith; and God, seeing your strength, rejoiced.
127 For this cause he shewed you the building of the tower, and will shew other things unto you, if you shall have peace with all your heart among each other.
128 But in the third vision you saw her yet younger, [*2] fair and cheerful, and of a serene countenance.
129 For as if some good news comes to him that is sad, he straightway forgets his sadness, and regards nothing else but the good news which he has heard; and for the rest he is comforted, and his spirit is renewed through the joy which he has received: even so you have been refreshed in your spirit by seeing these good things.
130 And for that you saw her sitting upon a bench, it denotes a strong position; because a bench has four feet and stands strongly. And even the world itself is upheld by the four elements.
131 They therefore that repent perfectly, shall be young; and they that turn from their sins[p. 210]
with their whole heart, shall be established.
132 And now you have the Revelation fully, ask no more to have any thing farther revealed unto you.
133 But if any thing be to be revealed, it shall be made manifest unto you.
Of the trial and tribulation that is about to come upon men.
I SAW a vision, brethren, twenty days after the former vision; a representation of the tribulation that is at hand. I was walking in the field way.
2 Now from the public way to the place whither I went is about ten furlongs; it is a way very little frequented:
3 And as I was walking alone I entreated the Lord that he would confirm the Revelations which he had shewed unto me by his holy Church:
4 And would grant repentance to all his servants who had been offended, that his great and honourable name might be glorified, and because he thought me worthy [*1] to whom he might shew his wonders, and, that I might honour him, and give thanks unto him.
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