6 And I said unto him, What therefore is to be done, if the woman continues on in her sin? He answered, Let her husband put her away, and let him continue by himself. But if he shall put away his wife, and marry another [*4] he also doth commit adultery.
7 And I said, What if the woman that is so put away, shall repent, and be willing to return to her husband, shall she not be received by him? He said unto me, Yes; and if her husband[p. 215]
shall not receive her, he will sin, and commit a great offence against himself; but he ought to receive the offender, if she repents; only not often.
8 For to the servants of God there is but one repentance. And for this cause a man that putteth away his wife ought not to take another, because she may repent.
9 This act is alike both in the man and in the woman. Now they commit adultery, not only who pollute their flesh, but who also make an image. [*1] If therefore a woman perseveres in any thing of this kind, and repents not, depart from her, and live not with her, otherwise thou also shalt be partaker of her sin.
10 But it is therefore commanded that both the man and the woman should remain unmarried because such persons may repent.
11 Nor do I in this administer any occasion for the doing of these things; but rather that whoso has offended, should not offend any more.
12 But for their former sins, God who has the power of healing will give a remedy; for he has the power of all things.
13 I asked him again and said, Seeing the Lord hath thought me worthy that thou shouldest dwell with me continually, speak a few words unto me, because I understand nothing, and my heart is hardened through my former conversation; and open my [*2] understanding because I am very dull, and apprehend nothing at all.
14 And he answering said unto me, I am the [*3] minister of repentance, and give [*4] understanding to all that repent. Does it not seem to thee to be [*5] a very wise thing to repent? Because he that does so gets great understanding.
15 For he is sensible that he hath sinned and done wickedly in the sight of the Lord, and he remembers [*6] within himself that he has offended, and repents and does no more wickedly, but does that which is good, and humbles his soul and afflicts it, because he has offended. You see therefore that repentance is great wisdom.
16 And I said unto him, For this cause, sir, I inquire diligently into all things, because I am a sinner, that I may know what I must do that I may live; because my sins are many.
17 And he said unto me, Thou shalt live if thou shalt keep these my commandments. And whosoever shall hear and do these commands shall live unto God.
18 And I said unto him, I have even now heard from certain teachers, that there is no other repentance beside that of baptism; when we go down into the water, and receive the forgiveness of our sins; and that after that, we must sin no more, but live in [*7] purity.
19 And he said unto me, Thou has been [*8] rightly informed. Nevertheless seeing now thou inquirest diligently into all things, I will manifest this also unto thee: yet not so as to give any occasion of sinning either to those who shall hereafter believe, or to those who have already believed in the Lord.
20 For neither they who have [*9] newly believed, or who shall[p. 216]
hereafter believe, have any repentance of sins, but forgiveness of them.
21 But as to those who have been called to the faith, and since that are fallen into any gross sin, the Lord hath appointed repentance, because God knoweth the thoughts of all men’s hearts, and their infirmities, and the manifold wickedness of the devil, who is always contriving something against the servants of God, and maliciously lays snares for them.
22 Therefore our merciful Lord had compassion towards his creature, and appointed that repentance, and gave unto me the power of it. And therefore I say unto thee, if any one after that great and holy calling shall be tempted by the devil and sin, he has one [*1] repentance. But if he shall often sin and repent it shall not profit such a one; for he shall hardly live unto God.
23 And I said, Sir, I am restored again to life since I have thus diligently hearkened to these commands. For I perceive that if I shall not hereafter add any more to my sins, I shall be saved.
24 And he said, Thou shalt be saved: and so shall all others, as many as shall observe these commandments.
25 And again I said unto him, Sir, seeing thou hearest me patiently shew me yet one thing more. Tell me, saith he, what it is.
26 And I said, If a husband or a wife die, and the party which survives marry again, does he sin in so doing? [*2] He that marries says he, sins not: howbeit, if he shall remain single, he shall thereby gain to himself great honour before the Lord.
27 Keep therefore thy chastity and modesty, and thou shalt live unto God. Observe from henceforth those things which I speak with thee, and command thee to observe, from the time [*3] that I have been delivered unto thee, and dwell in thy house.
28 So shall thy former sins be forgiven, if thou shalt keep these my commandments. And in like manner shall alt others be forgiven, who shall observe these my commandments.
Of the sadness of the heart, and of patience.
BE patient, says he, and [*4] longsuffering; so shalt thou have dominion over all wicked works, and shalt [*5] fulfil all righteousness.
2 For if thou shalt be patient, the Holy Spirit which dwelleth in thee shall be pure, and not be darkened by any evil spirit; but being full of joy shall be enlarged, and feast [*6] in the body in which it dwells, and [*7] serve the Lord with joy, and in great peace.
3 But if any [*8] anger shall overtake thee, presently the Holy Spirit which is in thee will be straightened and seek to depart from thee.
4 For he is choked by the evil spirit, and has not the [*9] liberty of [*10] serving the Lord as he would for he is grieved by [*11] anger.[p. 217]
Click to enlarge
THE INTERMENT OF CHRIST. FROM A FRESCO BY CIMABUE, THIRTEENTH CENTURY.
5 As if one should take a little wormwood, and put it into a vessel of honey, the whole honey would be spoiled; and a great quantity of honey is corrupted by a very little wormwood, and loses the sweetness of honey, and is no longer acceptable to its Lord because the whole honey is made bitter, and loses its use.
6 But if no wormwood be put into the honey, it is sweet and profitable to its Lord. Thus is forbearance sweeter than honey, and profitable to the Lord who dwelleth in it.
7 But anger is unprofitable. If therefore anger shall be mixed with forbearance, the soul is distressed, and its prayer is not profitable [*2] with God.
8 And I said unto him, Sir, I would know the sinfulness of anger, that I may keep myself from it. And he said unto me, Thou shalt know it; and if thou shalt not keep thyself from it, thou shalt lose thy hope with all thy house. Wherefore depart from it.
9 For I the [*3] messenger of righteousness am with thee; and all that depart from it, as many as shall repent with all their hearts, shall live unto God; and I will be with them, and will keep them all.
10 For all such as have repented have been justified by the most holy messenger, who is a minister of salvation.
11 And now, says he, hear the wickedness of anger; how evil and hurtful it is, and how it overthrows the servants of God; for it cannot [*4] hurt those that are full of faith because the [*5] power of God is with them; but it overthrows the doubtful, and those that are destitute of faith.
12 For as often as it sees [*6] such men, it casts itself into their hearts; and so a man or woman is in bitterness for nothing, for the things of life, or for sustenance, or for a vain word, if any should chance to fall in; or by reason of any friend, or for a debt, or for any other superfluous things of the like nature.
13 For these things are foolish, and superfluous, and vain to the servants of God. But equanimity is strong, and forcible; and of great power, and sitteth in great enlargement; is cheerful, rejoicing in peace; and glorifying God at all times [*7] with meekness.
14 And this long-suffering dwells with those that are full of faith. But anger is foolish, and light, and empty. Now bitterness is bred through folly; by bitterness, anger; by anger, fury. And this fury arising from so many evil principles, worketh a great and incurable sin.
15 For when all these things are in the same [*8] man in which the Holy Spirit dwells, the vessel cannot contain them, but runs over: and because the Spirit being tender cannot tarry with the evil one; it departs and dwells with him that is meek.
16 When, therefore, it is departed from the man in whom it[p. 218]
dwelt; that man becomes destitute of the Holy Spirit, and is afterwards filled with wicked spirits, [*1] and is blinded with evil thoughts. Thus doth it happen to all angry men.
17 Wherefore depart thou from anger and put on equanimity, and resist wrath; so thou shalt be [*2] found with modesty and chastity by God. Take good heed therefore that thou neglect not this commandment.
18 For if thou shalt obey this command, then shalt thou also be able to observe the other commandments, which I shall command thee.
19 Wherefore strengthen thyself now in these commands, that thou mayest live unto God. And whosoever shall observe these commandments shall live unto God.
That every man has two [*3] angels, and of the suggestions of both.
I COMMANDED thee, said he, in my first commandments, that thou shouldst keep faith and fear, and [*4] repentance. Yes, Sir, said I.
2 He continued: But now I will shew thee the virtues of these commands, that thou mayest know their effects; how they are [*5] prescribed alike to the just and unjust.
3 Do thou therefore believe the righteous, but give no credit to the unrighteous. For righteousness keepeth the right way, but unrighteousness the wicked way.
4 Do thou therefore keep the right way, and leave that which is evil. For the evil way has not a good end, but hath many stumbling-blocks; it is rugged and full of thorns, and leads to destruction; and it is hurtful to all such as walk in it.
5 But they who go in the right way, walk with evenness, and without offence; because it is not rough nor thorny.
6 Thou seest therefore how it is best to walk in this way. Thou shalt therefore go, says he, and all others, as many as believe in God with all their heart, shall o through it.
7 And now, says he; [*6] understand first of all what belongs to faith. There are two angels with man; one of righteousness, the other of iniquity.
8 And I said unto him: Sir, how shall I know that there are two such angels with man? Hear says he, and understand.
9 The angel of righteousness, is mild and modest, and gentle, and quiet. When therefore, he gets into thy heart, immediately he talks with thee of righteousness, of modesty, of chastity, of bountifulness, of forgiveness, of charity, and piety.
10 When all these things come into thy heart, know then that the angel of righteousness is with thee. Wherefore hearken to this angel and to his works.
11 Learn also the works of[p. 219]
the angel of iniquity. He is first of all bitter, and angry, and foolish; and his works are pernicious, and overthrow the servants of God. When therefore these things come into thy heart; thou shalt know by his works, that this is the angel of .
12 And I said unto him, Sir, how shall I understand these things? Hear says he, and understand. When anger overtakes thee, or bitterness, know that he is in thee:
13 As also, when the desire of many [*1] things, and of the best meats and of drunkenness; when the love of what belongs to others, pride, and much speaking and ambition, and the like things, come upon thee.
14 When therefore these things arise in thy heart, know that the angel of iniquity is with thee. Seeing therefore thou knowest his works, depart from them all, and give no credit to him: because his works are evil, and become not the servants of God.
15 Here therefore thou hast the works of both these angels. Understand now and believe the angel of righteousness, because his instruction is good.
16 For let a man be never so happy; yet if the thoughts of the other angel arise in his heart, that man or woman must needs sin.
17 But let man or woman be never so wicked, if the works of the angel of righteousness come into his heart, that man or woman must needs do some good.
18 Thou seest therefore how it is good to follow the angel of righteousness. If therefore thou shall follow him, and [*2] submit to his works, thou shalt live unto God. And as many as shall [*2] submit to his work, shall live also unto God.
That we must fear God, but not the Devil.
FEAR [*3] God, says he, and keep his commandments. For if thou keepest his commandments thou shalt be powerful in every work, and all thy works shall be [*4] excellent. For by fearing God, thou shalt do every thing well.
2 This is that fear with which thou must be affected that thou mayest be saved. But fear not the devil: for if thou fearest the Lord, thou shalt have dominion over him; because there is no power in him.
3 Now if there be no power in him, then neither is he to be feared. But he in whom there is excellent power, he is to be feared: for every one that has power, is to be feared. But he that has no power is despised by every one.
4 Fear the works of the devil, because they are evil. For by fearing the Lord, thou wilt fear and not do the works of the devil, but keep thyself from them.
5 There is therefore a twofold fear; if thou wilt not do evil, fear the Lord and thou shalt not do it. But if thou wilt do good, [*5] the fear of the Lord is strong, and great and glorious.
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