The Lost Books of the Bible

9 Hear now concerning the earthly spirit, which is empty and foolish, and without virtue. And first of all the man who is supposed to have the Spirit, (whereas he hath it not in reality), exalteth himself, and desires to have the first seat, and is wicked, and full of words.

10 And spends his time in pleasure, and in all manner of voluptuousness; and receives the reward of his divination; which if he receives not, he does not divine.

11 Should the Spirit of God receive reward and divine? It doth not become a prophet of God so to do.

12 Thus you see the life of each of these kind of prophets. Wherefore prove that man by his life and works, who says that he hath the Holy Spirit. And believe the Spirit which comes from God, and has power as such. But believe not the earthly and empty spirit, which is from the devil, in whom there is no faith nor virtue.

13 Hear now the similitude which I am about to speak unto thee. Take a stone, and throw it up towards heaven; or take a spout of water, and mount it up thitherward; and see if thou canst reach unto heaven.

14 Sir, said I, how can this be done? For neither of those things which you have mentioned, are possible to be done. And he answered, Therefore as these things cannot be done, so is the earthly spirit without virtue, and without effect.

15 Understand yet farther the power which cometh from above, in this similitude. The grains of hail that drop down are exceedingly small; and yet when they fall upon the head of a man, how do they cause pain to it?

16 And again; consider the droppings of a house: how the little drops falling upon the earth, work a hollow in the stones.

17 So in like manner the least things which come from above, and fall upon the earth, have great force. Wherefore join thyself to this spirit, which has the power; and depart from the other which is empty.

COMMAND XII.

Of a two fold desire: that the commands of God are not impossible: and that the devil is not to be feared by them that believe.

AGAIN he said unto me; [*1] remove from thee all evil desires, and put on good and holy desires. For having put on a good desire, thou shalt hate that which is evil, and bridle it as thou wilt. But an evil desire is dreadful and hard to be tamed.

2 It is very horrible and wild: and by its wildness consumes men. And especially if a servant of God shall chance to fall into it, except he be very wise, he [*2] is ruined by it. For it destroys those who have not the garment of a good desire: and [*3] are engaged in the affairs of

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this present world; and delivers them unto death.

3 [*1] Sir, said I, what are the works of an evil desire, which bring men unto death? Shew them to me, that I may depart from them. Hear said he, by what works an evil desire bringeth the servants of God unto death.

4 First of all, it is an evil desire to covet another man’s wife; or for a woman to covet another’s husband; as also to desire the dainties of riches: and multitude of superfluous meats; and drunkenness; and many delights.

5 For in much delicacy there is folly; and many pleasures are needless to the servants of God. Such lusting therefore is evil and pernicious, which brings to death the servants of God. For all such lusting is from the devil.

6 Whosoever therefore shall depart from all evil desires, shall live unto God; but they that are subject unto them shall die for ever. For this evil lusting is deadly. Do thou therefore put on the desire of righteousness, and being armed with the fear of the Lord, resist all wicked lusting.

7 For this fear dwelleth in good desires; and when evil coveting shall see thee armed with the fear of the Lord, and resisting it, it will fly far from thee, and not appearing before thee, but be afraid of thy armour.

8 And thou shalt have the victory, and be crowned for it; and shalt attain to that desire which is good; and shalt give the victory which thou hast obtained unto God, and shalt serve him in doing what thou thyself wouldest do.

9 For if thou shalt serve good desires, and be subject to them; thou shalt be able to get the dominion over thy wicked lustings; and they shall be subject to thee as thou wilt.

10 And I said, Sir, I would know how to serve that desire which is good? Hearken, saith he, Fear God and put thy trust in him, and love truth, and righteousness, and do that which is good.

11 If thou shalt do these things, thou shalt be an approved servant of God; and shalt serve him: and all others who shall in like manner serve a good desire shall live unto God.

12 And when he had fulfilled these twelve commands, he said unto me, Thou hast now these commands, walk in them; and exhort those that hear them that repent, and that they keep their repentance pure all the remaining days of their life.

13 And fulfil diligently this ministry which I commit to thee, and thou shalt receive great advantage by it; and shalt find favour with all such as shall repent, and shall believe thy words. For I am with thee, and will force them to believe.

14 And I said unto him, Sir, those commands are great and excellent, and able to cheer the heart of that man that shall be able to keep them. But, Sir, I cannot tell, whether they can be observed by any man?

15 He answered, Thou shalt easily keep these commands, and they shall not be hard: howbeit, if thou shalt suffer it once to enter into thy heart that they cannot be kept by any one, thou shalt not fulfil them.

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16 But now I say unto thee if thou shalt not observe these commands, but shall neglect them, thou shalt not be saved, nor thy children, nor thy house; because thou hast judged that these cannot be kept by man.

17 These things he spake very angrily unto me, insomuch that he greatly affrighted me. Fur he changed his countenance, so that a matt could not bear his anger.

18 And when he saw me altogether troubled and confounded, he began to speak more moderately and cheerfully, saying, O foolish, and without understanding!

19 Unconstant, not knowing the majesty of God how great and wonderful he is; who created the world for man, and hath made every creature subject unto him: and given him all power, that he should be able to [*1] fulfil all these commands.

20 He is able, said he, to [*2] fulfil all these commands, who ha the Lord in his heart: but they who have the Lord only in their mouths, and their heart is hardened, and they are far from the Lord; to such persons these commands are hard and difficult.

21 Put therefore, ye that are empty and light in the faith, the Lord your God in your hearts and ye shall perceive how that nothing is more easy than these commands, nor more pleasant, nor more gentle and holy.

22 And turn yourselves to the Lord your God, and forsake the devil and his pleasures, because they are evil, and bitter, and impure. And fear not the devil, because he has no power over you.

23 For I am with you, the messenger of repentance, who have the dominion over him. The devil doth indeed affright men; but his terror is vain. Wherefore fear him not, and he will flee from you.

24 And I said unto him; Sir, hear me speak a few words unto you. He answered, Say on: A man indeed desires to keep the commandments of God: and there is no one but what prays unto God, that he may be able to keep his commandments.

25 But the devil is hard, and by his power rules over the servants of God. And he said He cannot rule over the servants of God, [*3] who trust in him with all their hearts.

26 The devil may strive, but he cannot overcome them.

27 For if ye resist him, he will floe away with confusion from you. But they that are not full in the faith, fear the devil, as if he had some great power. For the devil tries the i servants of God and if he finds them empty, he destroys them.

28 For as man, when he fills up vessels with good wine, [*4] and among them puts a few vessels half full, and comes to try and taste of the vessels, doth not try those that are full, because ho knows that they are good; but tastes those that are half full, lest they should grow sour; (for vessels half full soon grow sour, and lose the taste of wine:) so the devil comes to the servants of God to try them.

29 They that are full of faith resist him stoutly, and he departs from them, because he finds no place where to enter into them: then he goes to those that are not full of faith, and because he has place of entrance,

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he goes into them, and does what he will with them, and they become his servants.

30 But I, [*1] the messenger of repentance, say unto you, fear not the devil, for I am sent unto you, that I may he with you, as many as shall repent with your whole heart, and that I may confirm you in the faith.

31 [*2] Believe therefore, ye who by reason of your transgressions have [*3] forgot God, and your own salvation; and [*4] adding to your sins have made your life very heavy.

32 That if ye shall turn to the Lord with your whole hearts, and shall serve him according to his will; he will heal you of your former sins, and ye shall have dominion over all the works of the devil.

33 Be not then afraid in the least of his threatenings, for they are without force, as the nerves of a dead man. But hearken unto me, and fear the Lord Almighty, who is able to save and to destroy you; and keep his commands, that ye may live unto God.

34 And I said unto him; Sir, I am now confirmed in all the commands of the Lord whilst that you are with me, and I know that you will break all the power of the devil.

35 And we also shall overcome him, if we shall be able, through the help of the Lord, to keep these commands which you have delivered.

36 Thou shalt keep them, said he, if thou shalt purify thy heart towards the Lord. And all they also shall keep them who shall cleanse their hearts from the vain desires of the present world, and shall live unto God.

Footnotes

^212:1 Observe them, Custodite possiss. Lat.

^212:2 Adversa recipietis.

^212:3 Faith.

^212:4 Irenaeus l. 1, c. 3. Origen, de Princ. l. 1, c. 3. Euseb. Hist. Eccles. l. 5, c. 8. Athanas. de Incarn. Verb. &c.

^212:5 Habe abstinentiam.

^212:6 Omnem. concupisceniam. MSS. Lamb. et Oxon.

^213:1 Lat. Have simplicity and be innocent.

^213:2 Gr. Ei de me, kai sy skonun enoxos esei.

^213:3 So the Gr. and Lamb. MS. Particeps errs peccati male loquentis, credens: tu habebis peccatum.

^213:4 Vid. Antioch. Hom. xxix.

^213:5 Daemon.

^213:6 The Greek hath oyn.

^213:7 Rather Simplicity; according to the Greek reading, preserved by Athanasius.

^213:8 Gr. in which there is no evil offence, but all things smooth and delightful, en ois oyden proskomma esti poneron, alla panta omala kg ilara.

^213:9 Vid. Antioch. Hom. xcviii.

^213:10 Simply.

^213:11 G. ek tun idiun dorematun. MS. Lamb. de suis dodis.

^213:12 Gloriously to God.

^213:13 Antioch Hom. lxvi.

^213:14 According to the Gr.

^213:15 See III. Hermas Simil. ix. v. 268 et seq.

^214:1 Through these words. Lat. His verbis et illa fidem recipiant.

^214:2 If thou shalt keep the truth.

^214:3 Chastity.

^214:4 Another man’s.

^215:1 See 1 Cor. vii. 15.

^215:2 Sense.

^215:3 Proepositus.

^215:4 See below, v. 18 et seq.

^215:5 Great wisdom.

^215:6 In his understanding.

^215:7 Chastity.

^215:8 Rightly heard.

^215:9 MS. Lamb. Qui modo crediderunt, Who have just now believed.

^216:1 Vid. Annot. Coteler. in loc. pp. 60, 61.

^216:2 Vid. not. Coteler. in loc. p. 64 B. C. Rom. vii. 3. Comp. 1 Cor. vii.

^216:3 SM. Lamb. medius; Ex quo mihi traditus es, That thou host been delivered unto me, and I dwell, etc.

^216:4 Gr. Makrothymos. MS. Lam. Animaequus.

^216:5 Work.

^216:6 SM. Lamb. melius, Cum. vase. Et Gr. meta toy skeyoys, with the body or vessel.

^216:7 Gr. Leitoyrgei tui kyriui.

^216:8 Oxyxolia, Gr. Bitterness of gall.

^216:9 Place.

^216:10 Gr. ‘Leitoyrgesai.

^216:11 Oxyxolia.

^217:1 Both Athanasius and Antiochus add these words, omitted in our copies: “For in forbearance (or long suffering) the Lord dwelleth, but in bitterness the Devil.”

^217:2 To.

^217:3 Angel.

^217:4 Gr. work upon energesai; et MS. Lamb. facere.

^217:5 Virtue.

^217:6 Gr. Toioytoys anthrupoys.

^217:7 In the Greek of Athananius and Antiochus the sense is fuller: Having nothing of bitterness in itself, and continuing always in meekness and quietness.

^217:8 Vessel.

^218:1 In the Greek of Athanasius follow these words, omitted in the Lat. Vers. of Hermas: “And is unstable in all his doings, being drawn hither and thither by wicked men.”

^218:2 In the Greek of Athanasius it runs better thus, “Applauded with reverence by those who are beloved of God.”

^218:3 Vid. Coteler. Annot. in loc. pp. 67, 68. Comp. Edit. Oxon. p. 61, Note a.

^218:4 Lat. Poenitentiam; it should rather be Abstinentiam; as in the Greek of Athanasius: as appears by the first Commandment, which is here referred to.

^218:5 Place, Lat. Posita sunt.

^218:6 Vid. Antioch. Hom. lxi. Comp. Orig. l. iii. De Princip. et in Luc. Hom. xxxv.

^219:1 Works. Gr. praxeun.

^219:2 Gr. pisteyseis, Lat. Credideris, Believe.

^219:3 Vid. Antioch. Hom. cxxvii. Eccles. xii. 13.

^219:4 Asygkratos, Without comparison: or without mixture.

^219:5 In the Gr. of Antioch these words follow, which make the connection more clear: “Fear also the Lord, and thou shalt be able to do it, for.”

^220:1 Antioch. Hom. lxxix.

^220:2 Do according to the Greek, ergazomenoys.

^220:3 Vid. Coteler. in loc.

^220:4 The sense here is defective, and may be thus restored from the Greek of Athanasius:–Whoever keeps these things, and doth not abstain from them, shall he happy in his life. And so the Lamb. MS: Haec qui custorierit.

^220:5 Gr. agathopoiesis, good deed.

^220:6 synterein.

^220:7 Add from the Gr. of Athanasius and Antiochus: Not to remember injuries; To comfort those who labour in their minds.

^220:8 Eythymoys.

^221:1 Vid. Antioch. Hom. lxxxiii. Confer. Fragm. D. Grabe. Spicileg. tom. i. page 303.

^221:2 Add from the Gr. both of Athanasius and Antiochus: But if thou doubtest in thy heart, thou shalt receive none of thy petitions. For those who distrust (or, doubt of) God, are like the double-minded, who shall obtain none of these things.

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