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GOSPELS AND EPISTLES
OF THE ORIGINAL
JESUS THE CHRIST
AND OTHER PORTIONS OF THE ANCIENT HOLY SCRIPTURES.
NOW EXTANT, ATTRIBUTED TO
HIS APOSTLES, AND THEIR DISCIPLES,
AND VENERATED BY THE PRIMITIVE CHRISTIAN CHURCHES DURING
THE FIRST FOUR CENTURIES,
BUT SINCE, AFTER VIOLENT DISPUTATIONS
FORBIDDEN BY THE
BISHOPS OF THE NICENE COUNCIL,
IN THE REIGN OF THE EMPEROR CONSTANTINE
AND OMITTED FROM THE CATHOLICS AND PROTESTANT
EDITIONS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, BY ITS COMPILERS
TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL TONGUES, WITH HISTORICAL
REFERENCES TO THEIR AUTHENTICITY,
THE FIRST PART OF THE
BOOK OF HERMAS CALLED HIS VISION.
1 Against filthy and proud thoughts;
20 also the neglect of Hermas in chastising his children.
HE who had bred me up sold a
certain young maid at Rome;
whom when I saw many years
after, I remembered her, and
began to love her as a sister.
It happened some time afterwards,
that I saw her washing in the river.
Tyber; and I reached out my hand
unto her, and brought her out of
2 And when I saw her I thought
with myself, saying, How happy
should I be if I had such a wife,
both for beauty and manners.
This I thought with myself; nor
did I think any thing more. But
not long after, as I was walking,
and musing on these thoughts, I
began to honour this creature of
God, thinking with myself; how
noble and beautiful she was.
3 And when I had walked a little,
I fell asleep; and the spirit
caught me away, and carried me
through a certain place towards
the right hand, through which no
man could pass. It was a place
among rocks, very steep, and
unpassable for water.
4 When I was past this place,
I came into a plain; and there
falling down upon my knees, I
began to pray unto the Lord, and
to confess my sins.
5 And as I was praying, the
heaven was opened, and I saw the
woman which I had coveted,
saluting me from heaven, and
saying, Hermas, hail! and I looking
upon her, answered, Lady, what
dost thou do here? She answered
me, I am taken up hither to accuse
thee of sin before the Lord.
6 Lady, said I, wilt thou
convince me? No, said she: but
hear the words which I am about
to speak unto thee. God who
dwelleth in heaven, and hath made
all things out of nothing, and
hath multiplied them for his holy
church’s sake, is angry with thee
because thou hast sinned against
7 And I answering said unto
her, Lady, if I have sinned against
thee, tell me where, or in what
place, or when did I ever speak
an unseemly or dishonest word
8 Have I not always esteemed
thee as a lady? Have I not always
reverenced thee as a sister? Why
then dost thou imagine these
wicked things against me?
9 Then she, smiling upon me,
said: the desire of naughtiness
has risen up in thy heart. Does
it not seem to thee to be an ill
thing for a righteous man to have
an evil desire rise up in his heart.
10 It is indeed a sin, and that a
very great sin, to such a one; for
a righteous man thinketh that
which is righteous. And whilst
he does so, and walketh uprightly,
he shall have the Lord in heaven
favourable unto him in all his
11 But as for those who think
wickedly in their hearts, they take
to themselves death and captivity;
and especially those who love this
present world, and glory in their
riches, and regard not the good
things that are to come; their
souls wander up and down and
know not where to fix.
12 Now this is the case of such
as are double-minded, who trust
not in the Lord, and despise and
neglect their own life.
13 But do thou pray unto the
Lord, and he will heal thy sins,
and the sins of thy whole house,
and of all his saints.
14 As soon as she had spoken
these words the heaven were shut,
and I remained utterly swallowed
up with sadness and fear: and
said within myself, if this be laid
against me for sin, how can I be
15 Or how should I ever be able
to entreat the Lord for my many
and great sins? With what words
shall I beseech him to be merciful
16 As I was thinking over these
things, and meditating in myself
upon them, behold a chair was
set over against me of the whitest
wool, as bright as snow.
17 And there came an old woman
in a bright garment, having
a book in her hand, and sat alone,
and saluted me, saying, Hermas,
hail! and I being full of sorrow
and weeping, answered, Hail Lady!
18 And she said unto me, Why
art thou sad, Hermas, who wert
wont to be patient, and modest,
and always cheerful? I answered,
and said to her, Lady, a reproach
has been laid to my charge by an
excellent woman, who tells me
that I have sinned against her.
19 She replied, Far be any such
thing from the servant of God.
But it may be the desire of her
has risen up in thy heart? For
indeed such a thought maketh the
servants of God guilty of sin.
20 Nor ought such a detestable
thought to be in the servant of
God: nor should he who is approved
by the Spirit desire that which
is evil; but especially Hermas,
who contains himself from all
wicked lusts, and is full of all
simplicity, and of great innocence.
21 Nevertheless the Lord is
not so much angry with thee for
thine own sake, as upon the
account of thy house, which has
committed wickedness against the
Lord, and against their parents.
22 And for that out of thy
fondness towards thy sons, thou
hast not admonished thy house,
but hast permitted them to live
wickedly; for this cause the Lord
is angry with thee: but he will heal
all the evils that are done in thy
house. For through their sins
and iniquities, thou art wholly
consumed in secular affairs.
23 But now the mercy of God
hath taken compassion upon thee,
and upon thine house, and hath
greatly comforted thee. Only
as for thee, do not wander, but be
of an even mind, and comfort thy
24 As the workman bringing
forth his work, offers it to
whomsoever he pleaseth; so shalt
thou by teaching every day what
is just, cut off a great sin.
Wherefore cease not to admonish thy
sons, for the Lord knows that they
will repent with all their heart,
and they shall be written in the
book of life.
25 And when she had said this,
she added unto me; Wilt thou
hear me read? I answered her,
Lady, I will.
26 Hear then, said she;
and opening the book she read,
gloriously, greatly. and wonderfully,
such things as I could not keep in
my memory. For they were terrible
words, such as no man could bear.
27 How it be I committed her
last words to my remembrance;
for they were but few, and of great
use to us:—
28 Behold the mighty Lord, who