SIMILITUDE'S

A BOOK OF HERMAN

      Chapter 1                  TO INDEX

      Practical advice.

1.  And He said to me; "You know that you the servant of the Lord live here in pilgrimage for your city is far from this city.

2.  If therefore you know your city in which you are to dwell, why do you buy properties here, and provide yourself with delicacies and stately buildings and superfluous houses.  For he that provides himself with these things in this city does not think of returning to his own city.

3.  O foolish and doubtful and wretched man who understands not that all these things belong to other men and are under the power of another, for the lord of this city said to you; either obey my laws, or depart out of my city.

4.  What therefore will you do you that are subject to a law of your own city?  Can you deny your law for the sake of your estate, or for that which you provided for yourself?  For if you deny it and afterwards wish to return to your own city, you will not then be received but be excluded.

5.  See to it therefore that as a stranger you procure no more for yourself than what is required, what is sufficient for you.  So that you may oppose his law, and go to your own city where you may live with all cheerfulness according to your own law in which there is no wrong.

6.  Take heed therefore that you serve God and have Him in your heart, work the works of God being mindful of His commandments and of His promises, and be assured that He will make them good to you, if you shall keep His commandments.

7.  Instead of purchasing these excessive possessions therefore, redeem rather those that are in want of their necessity, namely; to justify the widow, judging the cause of the fatherless; spend your riches thus in such works as you are able.

8.  For to this end God has enriched you that you might fulfill these kind of services, it is much better to do this than to buy lands or houses, for all such things shall perish with this present time.

9.  And whatever you shall do for the name of the Lord you shall find in your city and have joy of it without sadness or fear, do not therefore covet the riches of the heathen for such are destructive to the servants of God.

10.  But trade with your own riches which you possess by which you may attain to everlasting joy, and do not commit adultery, not touch any other man's wife, nor desire her, but covet that which is your business, and you shall be saved." 

 

     Chapter 2

     One for the other.

1.  As I was walking in the field considering the elm and the vine and the fruit thereof, an angel appeared to me and said, "What is it that you are so long thinking on within yourself?"

2.  And I said to Him, "Sir, I was thinking of this vine and this elm and how fair their fruits are".  And He said to me; "These two are set for a likeness to the servants of God."

3.  And I said; "Sir, I would like to know what this likeness consist of."  So He said, "Listen, this vine is fruitful, but the elm is a tree without fruit, yet this vine unless it is by this elm and supported by it, it would not bear rich fruit.

4.  For laying along the ground it would bear bad fruit, but supported on the elm it bears both for itself and for the elm, you see there­fore how the elm gives no less, but rather more fruit than the vine?"

5.  And I said; "How sir does it bear more fruit than the vine?"  And He answered; "Because supported on the elm the vine gives both good and more fruit, while not laying along the ground.  This similitude thus represents the rich and the poor man."

6.  And I said, "Manifest this to me sir".  "Hear, he said; the rich man has wealth but to the Lord he is poor, for he is fully taken up with his riches and prays little to the Lord, and his prayers which he makes are lazy and without force.

7.  When therefore the rich man reaches out to the poor to grant him the things, which he requires, the man prays to the Lord for the rich.  And God grants the rich man all good things, for the poor man is rich in prayer, and his request has great power with the Lord.

8.  Then that rich man ministers all things to the poor, for he perceives that he is heard by the Lord, and so affords more willingly what the poor man desires, and takes care that nothing will be lacking him.

9.  And the poor man gives thanks to the Lord for the rich, for they both do their work from the Lord.

10.  With men therefore the elm is thought not to give any fruit, not knowing nor understand­ing that because of its added company the vine, the vine bears a double increase both for itself and for the elm.

11.  Whosoever therefore shall do these things shall not be forsaken by the Lord, but be written in the book of life.

12.  Blessed are they who are rich and perceive themselves to be increased, for he that is sensible in this will be able to minister some­what to others."

 

      Chapter 3 

      The living verses the dead.

1.  Again he showed me many trees whose leaves were shed and which seemed to be withered, for they were all alike.  And he said' "Do you see these trees?"  And I said; "Yes sir, I see them, some are dry and others are full of leaves."

2.  "These trees, so he said; which are green - are the righteous which shall possess the world to come, for the world to come is the summer to the righteous, but to sinners it is the winter.

3.  When therefore the mercy of the Lord shines forth - then they who serve God shall be manifested plainly to all.  For as in the summer the fruit of every tree is manifested, so also the works of the righteous shall be declared, and they shall be restored in that world merry and joyful.

4.  For the wicked however, who are the dry trees which you saw, shall as such also be found dry and without fruit in that other world, and like dry wood shall be burned, and the evil they have done in all the time of their life shall be manifested.

5.  And they shall be burned because they have sinned, and did not repent of their sins, and also the other nations shall be burned because they did not acknowledge God their Creator.

6.  Bring you therefore forth good fruit, that your fruit may be known in the summer, and keep yourself from much business, so shall you not tally offenses, for they who are involved in much business sin much, for they are taken up with their affairs and serve not God.

7.  For how can a man that does not serve God ask anything of God and receive it?  But they who serve Him, ask, and receive what they desire.

8.  But if a man has only one thing to follow, he may serve God, for his mind is not taken from God, but he serves Him with a pure mind.

9.  If therefore you shall do this, you may have fruit in the world to come, and everyone who does in like manner shall bring forth fruit."

       The right fasting.

10.  As I was fasting and sitting at a certain mountain giving thanks to God for all the things that He had done to me, I saw the Shepherd who used to converse with me sitting by me, and saying; "What has brought you here thus early in the morning?"  And I answered; "This day I keep a station."

11.  He said, "What is a station?"  I replied; "It is a fast."  And He said; "What is that fast?"  To which I replied; "I fast as I have been used to."  He then said; "You do not know what it is to fast unto God, nor is this a fast which you fast, it profits nothing before God."

12.  "But Sir, I said, what makes you speak thus?"  And He replied; "I speak thus because this is not the true fast which you think that you fast, but I will show you what a right fasting is that is acceptable before God.

13.  Listen, the Lord does not desire such a needless fast, for by fasting in this manner you advance nothing in righteousness.

14.  But the true fast is this; Do nothing wickedly in your life, but serve God with a pure mind, and keep His commandments, and walk according to His precepts nor suffer any wicked desire to enter into your mind.

15.  But trust in the Lord, for if you do these things, fearing Him, and abstaining from every evil work, then you shall live unto God, if you do this you shall perfect a great and acceptable fast to the Lord."

 

     Chapter 4 

     The Shepherd.

1.  As I was sitting at home praising God for all the things which I had seen and thought concerning the commands that they were exceedingly good, and doing so I saw Him whom I had seen before, and He said;

2.  "What doubts do you have concerning My commands?  They are good, doubt not, but trust in the Lord and you shall walk in them, these commands are profitable to those who will repent of the sins, which they have formerly committed if, for the time to come, they shall not continue in them.

3.  Whosoever thus repents, let him cast away the naughtiness of this world, and put on virtue, and so you will be able to keep them and not sin from henceforth."

4.  And He further said, "Let us go into the field and I will show you shepherds of sheep".  And we came into a certain field where He showed me a young shepherd finely arrayed with his garment of purple color and he led large flocks, and his sheep were full of pleasure and delight, and they skipping ran here and there.

5.  And that shepherd took great satisfaction in his flock, and he was cheerful running up and down among his flock.

6.  Then the angel said to me; "Do you see this shepherd; this is the messenger of delight and pleasure, he therefore corrupts the minds of the servants of God turning them from the truth, delighting them with many pleasures, and they perish.

7.  For they forget the commandments of the living God, and live in luxury and vain pleasure, and are corrupted by the evil angel, some to death, and others to a falling away."

8.  And I replied "I do not understand what Thou mean by saying "to death", and to a falling away."  And He said; "Hear then, all those sheep which you saw very joyful are such as have forever departed from God, and given themselves up to the lusts of this present time.

9.  To these therefore there is no return by repentance to life, for in addition to their other sins they add that they have blasphemed the name of the Lord, these kind of men are ordained to death.

10.  But those which you saw not leaping, but feeding in one place, are such that have given themselves to pleasures and delight, these therefore are only fallen from the truth and have yet hope for repentance."

11.  And going a little further He showed me a shepherd who had a rustic figure, clad with a white goat's skin, his bag on his shoulder, and a staff hard and with knots in his hand, and a whip in the other hand, and his countenance was stern even to frighten a man.

12.  And he took from that young shepherd such sheep that lived in pleasure but did not skip up and down, and drove them into a steep craggy place full of thorns and briars to such an extend that they could not get themselves free from them.

13.  But being entangled they fed on thorns and briars, and were tormented with his whip, for he still drove them on affording them no place nor time to stand still.

14.  And seeing them so cruelly afflicted I was grieved for them, and said; "Sir, who is this cruel and implacable shepherd who shows no compassion to these sheep?"

15.  And he answered; "This shepherd is indeed one of the holy angels, but is appointed for the punishment of sinners, to him therefore are delivered those who have erred from God serving the lusts and pleasures of this world.

16.   For this cause does he punish them as they deserve with cruel and various kinds of pain."  And I said; "Sir, I would like to know what these pains are that they undergo."

17.  And he said "Some suffer loss, others poverty, and again others sickness, some are unsettled, others suffer injuries from those that are unworthy, and again others fall under many other trials and inconveniences.

18.  For many with an unsettled design aim at many things, and it profits them not, and they say they have no success in their undertakings, they do not call to mind what they have done amiss, and complain of the Lord.

19.  When they therefore undergo all kinds of vexation and inconvenience they are delivered to me for good instruction, to be confirmed in the faith of the Lord, to serve the Lord all the rest of their days with a pure mind.

20.  And when they begin to repent, they call their works to mind in which they have done amiss.  And give honor to God saying, that He is the just Judge, and that they deserved suffering all things for their deeds.

21.  And for the remainder of their life they serve God with a pure mind and receive success in their undertakings, receiving from the Lord whatsoever they desire.

22.  Then also they give thanks to the Lord that they were delivered to me, and suffer no more cruelty."

 

      Chapter 5 

      Affliction is essential.

1.  After a some days I again saw that same person who talked with me in the field, and he said to me; "What do you seek?"

2.  "Sir, I said, I came to entreat you that you would command the shepherd who is the minister of punishment, to depart out of my house, for he greatly afflicts me."

3.   And he answered; "It is necessary for you to endure vexation and inconvenience, for thus the good angel commanded concerning you, he wished to try you."

4.  Then I said; "What great offense have I committed that I should be delivered to this messenger?"  So he said; "Listen, you are indeed guilty of many sins, yet not so that you should be delivered to this messenger, but, your house has committed many offenses, therefore, the good messenger being grieved at their doings, commanded that for some time you should suffer afflictions.

5.  This is so they may repent of what they have done, and wash themselves from the lusts of this present world, and having repented, and being purified, then that messenger shall depart from you."

6.  I then said to him; "Sir, if they have behaved themselves to anger that good angel, what have I done?"  He answered; "They cannot otherwise be afflicted unless you, who are the head of the family, suffers.

7.  For whatever you shall suffer, they must need feel it also, but as long as you are well established, they cannot experience any vexation."

8.  I replied; "But sir, behold they also now presently repent with all their hearts."  "Yes I know, he said, but do you think that therefore their offense are immediately blotted out?

9.  No, not immediately, but he that repents must afflict his soul, and show himself humble in all his affairs, and undergo many and divers vexations.

10.  And when he shall have suffered all things that were appointed him, then perhaps He that made him will be moved with compassion towards him and afford him some remedy, and especially if He perceives that his heart is pure from every evil work.

11.  But right now it is expedient for you, and for your house to be grieved, and needful that you should endure much vexation, as the angel of the Lord, who committed you to me, has commanded.

12.  Give rather thanks to the Lord that He thought you worthy to tell you in advance what trouble was coming on you, you who are able to bear it."  Then I said; "Be Thou also with me, and I shall easily undergo any trouble."

13.  "I will be with you, he said, And I will entreat the messenger that is set over your punishment, to moderate his afflictions towards you, you shall suffer adversity for only a little while, and afterwards be restored to your former state, only continue in the humility of your mind.

14.  Obey the Lord with a pure heart, and you and your house and your children, and walk in the commands that I have given you, then your repentance shall be firm and pure.

15.  And if you shall keep these things with your house, your inconveniences shall depart, and all vexation in like manner to all who shall walk according to these commands."

 

      Chapter 6

      Man to repentance.

1.  Again he showed me a willow, which covered the fields, and the mountains, under whose shadow came all such as were called by the name of the Lord.

2.  And by that willow stood the angel of the Lord, very excellent and lofty, and he cut boughs from that willow with a great hook, and he reached to each of the people that were under the willow a little rod, of about a foot in length.

3.  And when they all had taken them he laid his hook aside, and the tree continued in its entire as it had been when I saw it first."  And at this I wondered and mused.

4.  Then that shepherd said to me' "Do not wonder that this tree continues whole even though so many boughs have been cut from it, but stay a little and the meaning thereof will be shown to you."

5.  The angel then again demanded the rods of the people in the same order, in which they had received them, and they restored the rods, and he examined them.

6.  From some he received them dry and rotten as were they touched by the moth, these he commanded to be held separate, others gave their rods dry but not touched with the moth, and also were ordered to be set by themselves.

7.  Others gave their rods half dry, and again others half dry and cleft, and still others half dry half green, or two parts green with a third dry, or two parts dry and one part green.

8.  Again others had only the tops dry, but had clefts, while still others had a little green with the rest dry, each of these them were set by themselves.

9.  Others came and brought their rods as they had received them.  And others still brought their rods not only green but also full of branches, and some even with fruit on it, at which the angel rejoiced.

10.  And they who had such rods also were very cheerful, then the angel of the Lord commanded crowns to be brought, and he crowned those in whose rods the young branches with fruit had come, and he commanded them to go into the tower.

11.  And those also he sent into the tower, in whose rods he found branches without fruit, giving a seal on them for they had the same white garment.  And such as had returned their rod as they had received them; they received a white garment and were sent to the tower.

12.  And this being done, the angel said to the shepherd; "I am going my way, but you, send all these to the place which they deserve, but first examine them diligently that no-one deceive you, and if anyone escapes you, I will try them on the altar."  And thus he departed.

       A chance to repentance.

13.  After the angel had gone the shepherd (Messenger of repentance) said to me; "Let us take the rods and plant them if perhaps they may grow green again".

14.  And I said; "Sir, but how can these dry rods ever grow again?"  He answered; "That tree is a willow, and always loves to live, perhaps in receiving a little water these rods may recover.

15.  Therefore I will pour water on them, and if any will live, I will rejoice with them, and if not, at least I shall not be found to have neglected my part

16.  He then commanded the people, and receiving the rod from each he planted them and having done so poured much water on it, and said, "Let us depart, and return later.

17.  For He who created this tree desires that all those may live who received rods from it, and now I hope that many may recover."

18.  And I said, "Sir, tell me what this tree denotes, for I am astonished that after so many branches have been cut off it still seems whole".

19.  He answered; "Listen, this great tree which covers the plains and the mountains and all the earth, is the law of God published through the whole world.

20.  This law then is the Son of God that is preached to the ends of the earth, and the people standing under its shadow, are those which have heard and believed."

21.  The great and honorable angel then which you saw was Michael who has the power over His people, and who governs them, for he has planted the law in the hearts of those who have believed, wherefore also he visits them to see if they have kept it.

22.  And he examines everyone's rod, for these rods are the law of the Lord, and he discerns all who have not kept the law knowing the place of each of them."

23.  And I said to him; "Sir, why did he sent some to the tower, and left others to you?"  And he replied; those who have transgressed are left in my power that they may repent of their sins, while those who fulfilled it are under His power."

24.  "And who then, I said, are those who were crowned?"  He replied; "All such as have striven with the devil and have overcome, these have suffered hard things that they might keep the law.

25.  And such as gave their rods green with young branches, but no fruit, have indeed endured trouble for the same law, but have not suffered death, yet neither did they deny the holy law.

26.  And such as delivered their rods as they received them, are those who were modest and just, living with a pure mind, and kept the commandments of God."

       Repentance tried.

27.  After some days then we returned, and there stood that glorious angel, and I stood by him, and he said to me gird yourself with a towel and serve me."

28.  And I girded myself with a clean towel which was made of course cloth, and seeing me girded and ready to serve him, he said; "Call those men whose rods have been planted, everyone one in his order."

29.  And he brought me into the field, and I called them all, and they all stood ready in their several ranks.  Then he said to them; "Let everyone pluck up his rod and bring it to me".

30.  And the first that had been dry and rotten, delivered their rods, and whose rods continued as such were set apart, then came those whose rods had been dry but not rotten, and some delivered their rods green, while others were dry and rotten, as touched by the moth.

31.  After this came those that had been half dry and cleft, many of which gave their rods green and uncleft, and others green with branches and fruit on them, as of those who had gone crowned to the tower.

32.  While others were dry but not rotten, and some were as they had been, each of these then was ordered to stand apart.

33.  Then came those that had been green but cleft, who delivered their rods altogether green, and the shepherd rejoiced at those that they were all changed and free from clefts.

34.  Then came the half green and half-dry, some of which were found fully green others, as before, and still others with young shoots.

35.  Next those who had been two parts green and one part dry, many of which had turned green, and many half dry, the rest dry but not rotten.

36.  Then came the two parts dry, one part green, many of which delivered their rods half dry, others dry and rotten, others half dry and cleft, and only few green.

37.  Then came those whose rods had been a little green with the rest dry, their rods were for the most part green having also little boughs with fruit on them, and the rest altogether green.

38.  And the shepherd seeing this rejoiced that he had found them thus, and these, as with all the before went to their proper order.

39.  After he had thus examined all the rods, he said to me; "T told you that this tree loves life for see how many have repented and attained to salvation.  And I said Sir, I see it."

40.  "This, so he said; is that you may know that the goodness and mercy of the Lord is great, and that he is to be held in honor who gave His Spirit to them that were found worthy of repentance."

41.  I answered; "Sir, why then did not all of them repent? "  He replied; "Those whose minds the Lord foresaw would be pure, and that they would serve Him with all their heart, to them He gave repentance.

42.  But for those whose deceit and wickedness He beheld, to them He denied any return to repentance lest they should again blaspheme His law with wicket words."

43.  Then I said to him; "Now sir make known to me what the place is of everyone who gave up their rods, and what their portion shall be, and of such who kept not their entire seal what they shall hear and receive, if believing they repent."

44.  And he said, "Those whose rods were found dry and rotten, are the deserters and betrayers of the church, who with the rest of their crimes have also profaned the Lord and denied His name which was called on them.

45.  These therefore are dead unto God, and you saw that none of them repented although they heard My commands, which you delivered to them, for these men life is far distant.

46.  And they also who delivered their rods dry but not rotten, are far from life, for they have been counterfeits, and brought in evil doctrines perverting the servants of God.

47.  And especially because they did not suffer those who had sinned to return to repentance, but keeping them back with false doctrines.

48.  But such as have repented, their place has begun to be within the first walls, and some of them have even gone into the tower.  So you see therefore that in the repentance of sinners is life, and those who repent not, death is prepared.

49.  And those who gave their rods half dry are the doubtful, for they are neither living nor dead, and such as were half dry and with clefts are doubtful and evil speaking who envy one another, and never have peace among themselves.

50.  Yet repentance was offered them, and saw as you saw, had repented.  All those then who quickly repent shall have a place in the tower, but that are slow shall dwell within the walls, while them that repent not shall die.

51.  As for those who had their rod green yet cleft, are such as were always faithful but had some envy and strove among themselves concerning dignity and pre-eminence.

52.  All such are of course vain and without understanding to contend about these things.  Nevertheless seeing they are otherwise good, if and when they shall hear these commands and amend themselves, and repent at my persuasion, they shall at last dwell in the tower as they who truly and worthy repented.

53.  But if any return to dissension he shall be shut out from the tower and lose his life, for the life of those who keep the commandments of the Lord consist in doing what they are commanded, and not just in principle or in dignity.

54.  For by forbearance and humility of mind shall men attain to life, but sedition and contempt of the law purchases death to oneself.

55.  They who in their rods were half dry and half-green, are those engaged in many affairs of the world and are not joined to the saints, for which reason they were half alive and half dead.

56.  But since they heard the commands they have repented and began to dwell in the tower, but some have fully fallen away, for whom there is no more repentance.

57.  For by reason of their present interest they profaned and denied God, for this wickedness they lost their life.  And those who had doubts, if they quickly repented they shall have a place in the tower, but if they shall be slow, they shall dwell within the wall, and if they not, they shall die.

58.  As for those who had two parts green, and one part dry, they in many ways denied the Lord, and many of these repented and found a place in the tower, but many also departed from God and utterly lost their lives.

59.  And some being in doubtful state raised dissension these may yet return if they shall return quickly, if not they shall die.

60.  And those whose rods were two parts dry, one part green, are those who been faithful but also rich, and on top of that desired to be famous among the heathen and thereby fell into great pride, and aiming at high matters forsook the truth.

61.  Nor were they joined to the saints, but lived with the heathen, and this life seemed more pleasant to them, still they did not depart from God in faith, but not doing the works thereof.

62.  Many then repented and began to dwell in the tower, yet others being lifted up in their vanities have utterly fallen away following the wicket works of the heathen, these thus are reckoned as strangers to the gospel.

63.  Still others, being in despair, began to doubt that because of their wickedness they might never attain to salvation, and so being doubtful stirred up dissension

64.  To these there is yet hope of return, but they must repent quickly in order for their place to be in the tower.

65.  As for those who gave their rods green excepting their tops, and had clefts these were always good and faithful, nevertheless they sinned a little in their empty pleasures and trifling thoughts which they had within themselves.

66.  Therefore many of them when they heard my words, repented immediately and began to dwell in the tower, some however began to doubt, and others added dissension to their doubt, to these there is yet hope of return for they were always good, but they shall not easily be moved.

67.  And for the last who turned in their rods dry with only the tops green, these are such as indeed believed in God, but have lived in wickedness, yet they willingly bore the name of the Lord and readily received the servants of God.

68.  They therefore hearing these things returned and without delay repented and lived in all righteousness, and some suffered death while others readily underwent trials knowing they had done wickedly." 

69.  And having ended his explanation of the rods, he said to me; "Go and say to all men that they repent, and they shall live unto God, for the Lord, moved with great clemency, has sent me to preach repentance to all.

70.  Even to those who because of their evil doings did not deserve to obtain to salvation, but the Lord desires to be patient and keep the invitation that was made by His Son."

71.  I then said to Him "Sir, I hope that all may repent when they hear these things for I trust that everyone acknowledges his crimes and taking up the fear of the Lord that they will return to repentance."

72.   He replied; "Whosoever shall repent with all their heart and cleanse themselves from all the evils, and add no more to their sins, shall receive the cure of their former iniquities of the Lord, and live to Him, provided they shall not doubt these commands.

73.  But such as continue to add to their transgressions, and continue in the lust of this present world, shall condemn themselves to death."

74.  And having said these things He said; "I will show you the rest in a few days."

 

      Chapter 7 

      The twelve mountains.

1.  After I had written the commands and Similitude's of the shepherd, the angel of repentance, he came to me and said; "I will show you all the things, which the Spirit spoke to me concerning the figure of the church, for that Spirit is the Son of God.

2.  And because you were weak in body it was not declared to you by the angel until you were strengthened by the Spirit that you might also see the angel.

3.  For then indeed the building of the tower was shown very gloriously to you as the church, but you saw all things as were it by a virgin.

4.  But now you are enlightened by the angel, which is the same Spirit and you must consider all things diligently, for therefore was I sent by that honorable messenger, that when you shall have seen all things well, you might not be so afraid any more."

5.  And he led me to the height of a mountain in Arcadia, and we sat on its top, and he showed me a great plain around which there were twelve mountains of different kinds.

6.  The first was black as soot, the second smooth without herbs, the third full of thorns and thistles, the fourth had half dried herbs, but its upper part was green and its roots was dry, and the herbs as soon as the sun grew hot, they dried out.

7.  The fifth was very rugged, but had green herbs, the sixth was full of clefts some greater than others, and in these clefts grew grass not flourishing but seeming to be withering.

8.  The seventh had delightful pastures and was fully fruitful with all kinds of cattle and birds of heaven feeding on it, and the more they fed upon it, the more the grass did grow.

9.  The eight was full of fountains, and from them were all the creatures of God watered, the ninth had no water at all, but was completely destitute thereof and nourished deadly serpents destructive to men.

10.  The tenth was fall of tall trees and altogether shady, and in the shade laid cattle resting and chewing the cud.

11.  The eleventh was full of thicket trees, and they seemed to be loaded with several sorts of fruits so that whosoever saw them could not but desire to eat them.

12.  The twelfth was altogether white and of a most pleasant aspect, and gave of itself a most excellent beauty.

       The Redeemer of God.

13.  In the middle of the plain he showed me a huge white rock which rose out of the plain, and the rock was higher than those mountains, and was square so that it seemed capable to support the whole world.

14.  It looked to me to be old, yet it had a new gate in it which seemed to have been newly cut into it, that gate then was bright beyond the sun itself so much so that I greatly admired its light.

15.  And around the gate stood twelve virgins, four at the corners, and they seemed to me to be the chiefs, although the rest were also much worthy, and stood at the four parts of the gate.

16.  It added also to the grace of those virgins that they stood in pairs clothed with linen garments and beautifully girded, their right arms being at liberty as if they were about to lift some burden, for so they were adorned and exceedingly cheerful and ready.

17.  And seeing this I wondered to behold such great and noble things, and again I admired those virgins that they were so handsome and delicate, and stood with such firmness and constancy as if they would carry the whole heaven.

18.  And as I was thus thinking within myself, the shepherd said to me; "What are you thinking within yourself being uneasy and filled with care?

19.  Do not consider to be wise in what you do not understand, but pray to the Lord that you may acquire the ability to understand it, That which is to come you cannot understand, but what you behold is before you.

20.  Be not uneasy therefore at these things which you cannot see, but acquire under-standing of what you do see, first however let us consider what yet remains."

21.  And having said this to me, I looked up and saw six tall and honorable men coming, their appearance were all alike, and they called a certain multitude of men, who also were tall and stout.

       The building of the tower.

22.  And these six commanded the men to build a certain tower over that gate, and immediately a great noise began the men running here and there around the gate.

23.  And the virgins perceiving that the building of the tower was to be hastened by them stretched forth their hands as to receive something from them to do.

       The foundation of the gate.

24.  Then these six men commanded that they should lift up stones out of a certain deep place, and prepare them for the building of the tower, and there were lifted up ten white square stones.

25.  Then these six men commanded the twelve virgins to them and commanded them to carry all the stones that were to be put into the building, and having carried them through the gate, to deliver them to those that were about to built the tower.

26.  Immediately the virgins together began to lift up these stones that were taken out of the deep, and those which seemed to be the strongest were laid at the corners, the rest were put into the sides.

27.  Thus they carried all the stones bringing them through the gate delivering them to the builders, as they had been commanded.

28.  This building then was made on that great rock and over the gate, and it supported the whole tower, while the construction of the ten stones filled the whole gate as the foundation thereof.

       Further building of the foundation.

29.  After these ten stones, there were twenty-five others who rose out of the deep, and these were placed in the building of the same tower lifted up by the virgins.

30.  Then came thirty five others to rise up, and were in like manner fitted in the same work, then forty were added to the tower, and so there began to be four ranks in the foundation of that tower.

31.  And the stones ceased to rise out of the deep, and the builders also rested a while.

       Stones from the mountains.

32.  After this the six men commanded the multitude that they should bring stones out of those twelve mountains to the building of that tower.

33.  So they cut out of all the mountains stones of various colors and brought them, delivering them into the building of the tower.

34.  And coming into where they were built they became white, as becoming different from what they were before, changing their color, all becoming white.

35.  Except for some who were reached up by the men themselves, for these when put into place stayed their original color, not becoming white, because they were not carried in by the virgins through the gate.

36.  Thus they agreed not with the building, and the six men perceiving this, commanded them to be removed, and brought back from where they were taken.

37.  And they said to those who brought the stones.  "Do not hand up the stones for the building yourselves, but lay them by the tower so that these virgins may carry them to reach them up.  For unless they carry them through the gate, they cannot change their color, do not therefore labor in vain.

38.  And so the building was completed that day, but the tower was not yet finished, since more was to be built afterwards.  Thus there was a delay, and the six men commanded the builders to depart, to rest for a while, but they did not order the virgins to depart, which as it seemed to me were left to guard it. 

 

     Chapter 8 

     Delay for examination.

1.  And they having departed I said to the shepherd; "Sir, why is the building of the tower not completed?"  He said "lt. cannot be completed until its Lord comes and approves of the building, and if He shall find any stone in it that are not good, that they may be changed, for this tower is built according to His will."

2.  And I said; "Sir, I would like to know what the building of this tower signifies, and be informed concerning this rock and this gate, and the mountains and the virgins.  And also of the stones that rose out of the deep that were not cut, but placed in the building just as they were brought forth.  And why first ten stones were laid in the foundation, then twenty-five, and thirty-five, and forty.

3.  And also concerning the stones that were put in and again taken out and carried back to their place, I pray Thee fulfill the desire of my soul to manifest these things to me."

4.  And he said to me; "If you shall not be dull you shall know everything, and you shall see the other things that are about to happen in this tower, and you shall well understand these similitude's"

5.  After a few days then we came to the same place, and he said to me, "Let us go to the tower, for the Lord of it will come and examine it".

6.  So we came there, and I found only the virgins, and he asked them if the Lord of that tower had come here, and they replied that He would presently come to examine it.

7.  After a little while then I saw a great multitude of men coming.  And in the midst was a man so tall that He surpassed the tower in height, and around Him were those six who previously had charge in the building with all the rest that had built the tower.  And many others of great dignity were there.

8.  And the virgins that kept the tower ran to meet Him and kissed Him, and began to walk near Him, and He examined the building with so much care that He handled every stone, and struck everyone with a rod which He held in His left hand.

9.  And some being struck turned black as soot, others were rough, and some looked as if they had cracks in them, and again others maimed, some became neither black nor white, and some looked sharp and agreed not with the other stones, and others were full of spots.

10.  These were the several stones that were not found proper in the building, all of which the Lord commanded to be taken out of the tower, and laid near it, while others were to be returned to their places.

        New stones no longer from the mountains.

11.  And the builders asked Him from which of these mountains He would that stones be brought to put in the place of those that were laid aside.  But He forbade them to bring any from the mountains, but that they should be taken out of a certain field that was near.

12.  So they dug in that field and found many bright square stones, and also some that were round, and all that were in the field were taken away by the virgins and carried through the gate by them.

13.  And such as were square were fitted and placed in the openings of those that were pulled out, but the round ones were not put in the building for they were hard, and it would have required much time to cut them.

14.  But they were placed around the tower as if afterwards they might be cut square to yet then be placed in the building, for they were white.

       Repentance afforded.

15.  When therefore He who was the chief of the high dignity, and Lord over the whole tower saw this, He called the shepherd that was with me to Himself, and gave him the stones that were rejected and put around the tower and said to him;

16.  Clean these stones with all care and fit them into the building of the tower that they may agree with the rest, and those who will not suit with the rest, cast them far from the tower.

17.  When He had thus commanded him, He departed with all those that came with Him to the tower, but the virgins continued to stand with the tower keeping it.

18.  And I said to that shepherd; "How can these stones that were rejected return to the building of this tower?"  And he replied; "I will cut off the greatest part of these stones and add them to the building, and they will agree with the rest".

19.  And I said; "Sir, How will they be able to fit the same place when so much shall be cut from them?"  He answered; they that will be found too small shall be put in the middle of the building with the larger ones to the outside to keep them in."

20.  When He had said thus to me he added, "Let us go and after three days we will return, and I will put these stones, having been cleansed, into the tower.

21.  For all those around the tower must be cleansed lest the Master of the house comes suddenly on us, and find those unclean, and He be angry that these shall never be put into the building.  And I shall be looked on as having been not mindful of my Master's command."

22.  When therefore after three days we came, he said to me, "Let us examine all these stones to see which of them may go into the building.

23.  And first who began to consider those who had been black, and they were just as when they were pulled out, and he commanded that these be removed from the tower, and set by themselves.

24.  Then he examined those, which had been rough, and commanded many to be cut round, and to be fitted by the virgins into the building of the tower, and they taking them fitted them into the middle of the building.

25.  The rest then he commanded to be laid with the black ones, for these also had become black, and next those full of cracks were considered, many of which were ordered to be parted, and so added to the rest of the building by the virgins.

26.  Such then as were found whole were placed on the outside wall, while the rest because of their many cracks could not be reformed, and were therefore cast away from the building of the tower.

27.  Then he considered those that had been mai­med, many of these had cracks and were become black while others had large clefts, and these he commanded to be placed with those that were rejected.

28.  But the rest being cleansed and reformed were commanded to be put in the building, which were taken up by the virgins and fitted into the middle of the building, since they were weak.

29.  After these he examined those which were found half white and half black many of which were now black, and these were ordered to be cast with those others cast away.

30.  The rest found altogether white were taken up by the virgins and fitted into the tower, placing them on the outside for they were found whole, nothing being cut from them, so they might keep those in who were placed in the middle.

31.  Then he considered those which had spots, a few of which were found black, which were carried to their fellows, the rest that were white and whole were put into the building by the virgins and placed on the outside for reason of their strength.

32.  After this he considered the stones which were white and round, and said to me; "What shall we do with these stones I answered; "I cannot tell."

33.  He replied; "Can you think of nothing then for these?"  I answered; "Sir I do not under-stand this art, neither am I a stone cutter, I cannot provide an answer."

34.  And he said; "Do you not see that these are very round, and to make them square, I must cut off a great deal from them, it is however necessary that some of these go into the building of the tower.

35.  I answered; "If this is necessary, why do you perplex yourself and not take your choice from them and fit them in the building".

36.  He then chose the largest and brightest, and squa­red them, after which the virgins took them and placed them in the outside of the building.

37.  The rest that remained were to be carried back into the field from which they were taken.  These however were not cast away, for so he said.  "The tower lacks yet something to its building, and perhaps the Lord will have these stones fitted into this building, since they are exceedingly white."

38.  Then twelve stately women were called having a black garment, and were girded, and free with their shoulders and their hair lose, which seemed to be country women to me.

39.  And the shepherd commanded them to take up these stones which were cast away, and to carry them back to the mountains from which they were taken, and they did so joyfully taking them on their backs.

       Final preparation.

40.  And when not one stone remained around the tower, he said to me, "Let us go to the tower and see if anything is wanting.  And we began to go round about, and he seeing that it was very beautifully built, he was very glad, for it was so well framed that anyone seeing would be in love with it.

41.  It seemed to be all but one stone, no joint appearing, but it looked as though it had all been cut out of One rock.

42.  And diligently considering what a tower it was, I was very pleased, and he said to me.  "Bring me some lime and little shells that I may fill up the little spaces of these stones that were taken out of the building and put in again, for everything on the tower must be made even."

43.  And I did as he commanded me and said.  "Be ready to help me, for this will not take long".  He therefore filled up the spaces of these stones and commanded the area round about the tower to be cleaned.

44.  Then these virgins took brooms and cleaned the whole place, and took all the rubbish and threw water on it, so that the whole place became delightful, and the tower very handsome.

 

       Chapter 9 

      The teacher left alone with the virgins.

1.  Then he said to me; "Everything now is clean, if the Lord should come to finish the tower, He will find nothing of which to complain to us".

2.  And having said this he would have departed, but I laid hold of his bag, and began to entreat him that he would explain to me all things that he had shown me.

3.  And he said to me; "I have a little business for the moment, but I will soon explain all things to you, so wait here for me till I return".

4.  And I said; "Sir, what shall I do here alone?"  He answered; "You are not alone seeing all these virgins are with you.  And I said, "Sir, bring me then to them and say to them, I commend this man to you till I return".

5.  So I remained with these virgins, and they were cheerful and courteous to me, especially the four that seemed to be the chief ones among them.

6.  Then they said to me; "That shepherd will not return here today."  And I said; "What then shall I do They answered; "Tarry for him till evening if perhaps he comes to speak with you, and if not you shall remain with us until he does come".

7.  I said to them; "I will tarry here till evening, but if he comes not by that time I will go home and return here the next morning".

8.  But they answered; "You are delivered to us, you may not depart from us".  And I said; "Where shall I wait?"  They replied; "You shall sleep with us as a brother, not as a husband, for you are our brother, and we are ready from henceforth to dwell with you, for you are very dear to us."

9.  I however was embarrassed to stay with them, but she who seemed to be the chief came and embraced me, and began to kiss me.  And the rest when they saw that I was kissed by her, also began to kiss me as a brother, and led me about the tower and played with me.

10.  Some also sang psalms, while others made up the chorus with them so I walked the tower with them rejoicing silently, and feeling myself having grown young again.

11.  When evening came, I would have gone home, but they withheld me, and suffered me not to depart wherefore I continued with them that night near the tower.

12.  And they spread their linen garments on the ground and placed me in the middle, this they did and prayed, and I prayed with them not any the less.

13.  And seeing me thus in prayer they rejoiced greatly, and so I stayed with them till the next day, and having worshipped God, the shepherd came and said to them.  "You have done no injury to this man?"  They answered, "Ask Him.'

14.  So I said to him; "Sir, I have received a great deal of satisfaction in remaining with them."  And he said; "How did you eat?"  I replied; "I feasted the whole night on the words of the Lord."  He then said; "They received you well then."  And I replied, "Very well". 

       Parable explained.

15.  He then said; "Will you now learn what you desired?"  And I said; "Sir, I pray you show me all things in their order."  And He answered; "I will do so, nor hide anything from you".

16.  I said, "Tell me what this rock and gate denotes?"  He said; "This rock and the gate are the Son of God."  And I said; "How can this be since the rock is old but the gate is new?"

17.  And he said; "O you foolish man, the Son of God is older than any creature, Him being with the counsel of His Father at the creation of all things.

18.  But the gate is new because He appeared in the fullness of time that they who were to attain to salvation might enter by it into the kingdom of God.

19.  And you saw the stones, which were carried through the gate and how these who were not carried through the gate were again taken from the building and sent back to their former places.

20.  This is because no man shall enter the kingdom of God except if they take on themselves the name of the Son of God.  For if you wish to enter a city, and that city is surrounded by a wall with only one gate, can you then enter the city except by its gate?"

21.  I answered; "Sir, how can it be otherwise? "  Therefore, so he said; no one can enter the kingdom of God except by the name of His Son.

22.  And the multitude which you saw building the tower, are honorable angels, great in dignity, with these the Lord is surrounded like a wall, while the gate is the Son of God who is the only entrance to God, and no man shall go to God but by the Son.

23.  And the six men, whom you saw, these are angels of great eminence and of dignity, serving the Son standing at His left and right.

24.  And the tower that is the church and the virgins represent the Holy Spirit, nor can any man enter the kingdom of God except he be clothed with their garment.

25.  For it avails you nothing to take up the name of the Son of God, lest also you shall receive the garments as represented in these virgins, these being the powers of the Son of God.

26.  You saw the stones that were cast away, they bore His name but did not put on the garments, while those who taken through by the virgins remained, having taken on their garment.

27.  It is also for that reason that the whole tower is of one color, and as were it made of a single rock, since all those who entered put on the same Spirit, endowed of the virgins."

 

      Chapter 10 

     Temptation and repentance.

1.  And I said; Sir, "Why then were those stones taken out and cast away which were rejected after they had been carried through the gate and delivered by the hands of the virgins?"

2.  He replied; "Seeing you take diligence into these things, I will tell you this; These, received the name of the Son of God, and were also perfected by the power of the virgins and brought into the number of the servants of God.

3.  Yet then, as you beheld them being returned by the women in black, they were tempted and lost.  For the women fixing their desire on them, they in the temptation of their beauty were taken in and cast of the garments of the virgins for the power of the garments of these women in black.

4.  Therefore they were cast off from the house of God, and delivered to them."  And I said; "Sir, what if they repent renouncing the desire of these women?"  He said; "They shall enter if they do so, putting aside the power of the women, and resuming with the power of the virgins.

5.  For this reason also was there a delay in the building, that if any repent they may be added to the building, for this I give thanks to the Lord, He being moved with mercy towards them on whom His name is called.

6.  For to that end also He sent His angel of repentance to preside over you who have sinned, to refresh the spirit to the renewal of life." 

      The Rock and way of salvation.

7.  And I queried, "Sir, why is this tower built on a rock and a gate and not the ground?"  "You are foolish to ask me this", so he said.  And I replied, "But sir, I must needs ask all things for all your answers are great and excellent which a man can barely understand".

8.  He then said; "The name of the Son of God is great and without bounds, and the whole world is supported by it, do you not see that He supports those who bear His name with all their heart, therefore is He their foundation, and gladly supports them."

9.  And asking for the names of the virgins, and of the women in black, he replied; The names of the virgins which are most powerful who stood at the corners of the gate, are;

10.  The first is called; Faith, the second; Restraint, the third; Power, the fourth; Patience, and the rest are Simplicity, innocence, chastity, cheerfulness, truth, understanding, concord, and charity.

11.  Whosoever therefore bears these names and the names of the Son of God shall enter the kingdom of God.

12.  And the names of the women clothed in black, of these the four principle ones are; Treachery, unrestrained, infidelity, and pleasure, and that follow are; Sadness, Malice, lust, anger, lying, foolishness, pride, and hatred.

13.  The servants of God then who carry these spirits shall indeed see the kingdom of God, but shall not enter into it.

       The righteous in the ages.

14.  Then I said, "Sir, who are these stones taken out of the "deep" and fitted into the building?"  He answered; "The ten which were placed at the foundation, are the first age, the next twenty five, are the righteous men of the second age.

15.  The next thirty five are the prophets and ministers of the Lord, and the forty are the apostles and teachers of the preaching of the Son of God."

16.  And I said, "Sir, why were these stones put into the building by the virgins themselves after they had carried them through the gate?"  And he replied;

17.  "Because, these first carried these spirits, and did not depart one from the other, the men not from the spirits, nor the spirits from the men.

18.  And it was necessary that they ascended by water for they could not otherwise enter the kingdom of God, but must put off the mortal being of their former life.

19.  Accordingly they were sealed with the seal of the Son of God, for before a man receives the name of God he is ordained to death, but receiving the seal he is freed and assigned to life.

20.  That seal is the water of baptism (blood of Christ) into which men go down under the obligation of death, but rise up appointed to life."

 

      Chapter 11

      The twelve mountains.

1.  I said; "Sir, tell me about the twelve mountains, why there are so different?"  He said; "These mountains which you saw are the nations which make up the whole world, to these the Son of God is preached by those which He sent to them.

2.  "But Why Sir, were they so different," I asked, and he replied"; These nations are as twelve people, and as different as you beheld them, so are they".

3.  And I said; "And how then did they being so different were of the same color that were taken out, and not being any less bright as those who came out of the deep?"

4.  "Because, he replied; they all have heard and believed in the One same name of the Son of God, they therefore receiving all the same seal were made partakers in the same understanding and knowledge, and their faith and love having been the same.

5.  If then those having come in, and polluted themselves, and were cast out and returned to the former state, they became worse then as they were before.

6.  For if he who knows not the Lord lives wickedly, his punishment will attest to him, but he who has known the Lord ought to abstain altogether from all wickedness, and be more and more the servant of righteousness.

7.  For does it not seem to you that he who knows better - sins more - than he who offends without knowing the power of God?  For the first are indeed ordained to death, but those that have known Him, having seen His wonderful works, if they live wickedly they shall be punished doubly and die forever."

8.  And I ask him to further explain me concerning the mountains, and he said; "They of the first mountain which was black, are those who revolted from the faith, speaking wicket things against the Lord and betraying the servants of God.

9.  These are condemned to death, there not being repentance for them, wherefore also they are black,

10.  Those of the second mountain, which was smooth, are the hypocrites and teachers of naughtiness; these are next to the foregoing which do not have fruit of righteousness.

11.  For just as the mountain is barren and without fruit, so also that kind have the name of Christians, but are empty of faith, nor is there fruit of truth in them.

12.  There is however room for repentance left to them if they shall quickly pursue it, but if they delay, they shall be partakers of death with the first kind.

13.  I said; "Sir, why is there room for repentance left for these, but not for the foregoing seeing their sins are near the same?"

14.  He answered; "To them is repentance since they have not blasphemed against the Lord, nor betrayed the servants of God, but their desire for gain deceived them, leading them after the lust of sinners, for which also they shall suffer.

15.  They that are of the third mountain, which had thorns and brambles, are those who believed, but some were rich and others taken up with many affairs, the brambles are their riches, the thorns the affairs in which they were engaged.

16.  They who are entangled in much business and divers affairs do not join themselves to the servants of God, but wander being called away by their affairs by which they are choked.

17.  And so the rich yield with great difficulty to the conversation of God, being afraid that something might be asked of them.  These shall hardly enter the kingdom of God, for just as men walk with great difficulty with bare feet on thorns, so these shall hardly pass.

18.  There is nonetheless a return afforded them if they shall repent quickly, and having done so to afterwards perform the works of righteousness.

19.  As for the fourth mountain which had many herbs, the upper part of which was green but the roots dry, and of which some when the heat of the sun came on them they withered, these denote the doubtful, and such as confess the Lord with their tongue but have Him not in heart,

20.  Therefore is their grass dry and without root, for they live only in words, their works being dead, these are neither dead nor alive with their doubt, for the doubtful are neither green nor dry, that is neither dead nor alive.

21.  For just as the herbs dried out at the sight of the sun, so the doubtful as soon as they see persecution and fear and inconveniences, they return to their idols and are ashamed to bear the name of the Lord. 

22.  Concerning the fifth mountain that was craggy and yet had green grass, they are of a kind that have believed and were faithful, but believed with difficulty, they are conceited thinking to know all things, but knowing nothing.

23.  And because of this self conceit - knowledge is departed from them, and a rash of presumptions has entered them, they show themselves high as if prudent, and seeming to be teachers, are in fact fools.

24.  For this folly many have become vain and empty, and this bold and vain confidence is an very evil spirit for which reason also many of them are cast away, but some acknowledging their error have repented and did submit themselves to those who are in knowing.

25.  And to the rest of these there is repentance since they were not so much wicked as that they were foolish and void of understanding.  If thus they shall repent they shall live to God, and if not they shall dwell with the women in black who shall exercise their wickedness on them.

26.  And concerning the sixth mountain having greater and lesser clefts, they are such as have believed, but the lesser had controversies among themselves, and for that reason they languish in the faith.

27.  Yet many of these have repented, and so will the rest when they shall hear my commands, for their controversies are but small and they will easily return to repentance.

28.  But those with greater clefts will be as stiff stones, mindful of grudges and offenses and full of anger among themselves.  For that reason they were cast from the tower.

29.  As for the seventh mountain in which the grass was green and flourishing, the whole mountain faithful on which all kinds of cattle fed on the grass of it, and the more they ate of it, the more it flourished.

30.  They are such as believed and were always good and upright without difference among themselves, having put on the spirits of the virgins, and they were always ready to give to all men of their labors without upbraiding or deliberation, showing mercy to all.

31.  For this reason, the Lord beholding their simplicity and innocence increased in them the works of their hands, giving them grace in all their works.

32.  And concerning the eight mountain in which were a great many springs by which all sorts of creatures of God were watered, they are such that have believed, such as the apostles which the Lord sent into all the world to preach.

33.  And some preached teaching purely and sincerely, and have not in the least yielded to any evil desire, but constantly walked in righteousness and truth, these thus have their conversation with the angels.

34.   Concerning the ninth mountain, which is a desert, and full of serpents, they are such as have believed but had many stains, these are the ministers that discharge their ministry amiss ravening the goods of the widows and of the orphan, serving themselves of the goods of others.

35.  These, if they continue in covetness have delivered themselves to death, nor shall there be any hope for life for them, but if they shall be converted and discharge their ministry sincerely, they shall live.

36.  As for those which were found rough, such are as have denied the name of the Lord and not returned, but became savage and wild not applying themselves to the servants of God, but separating themselves, and for a little carelessness lost their lives.

37.  For just as a vine forsaken in a hedge and never dressed, is choked and perishes, so this kind despairs of itself, and being sour are unprofitable.

38.  There is however yet repentance left to them if it shall be found that they have not from the heart denied the Christ.

39.  Therefore I say, if anyone had denied, he should return to repentance, for it cannot be that one who denies the Lord can afterwards attain to salvation, yet still repentance is proposed to them.

40.  Only he must hasten to do so before the building shall be finished, or he shall be left to death with the women in black.

41.  The maimed then are the deceitful and them that mix with one another are the serpents that you saw mingled in that mountain, for as the poison of serpents is deadly to men, so the words of such persons infects and destroys men.

42.  This is what is maimed in their faith - the life that they lead.  Some however did repent and were saved, and so shall others if they repent.

43.  Concerning the tenth mountain in which there were trees covering the cattle, they are such as have believed, and some have been bishops and governors of the churches.

44.  Others are such who did not feign, but with a cheerful mind entertained the servants of God, and again such as have been set over lesser ministries, who have protected the poor and widows, and always kept a chaste conversation, these therefore also are protected by the Lord.

45.  Whosoever does these things are honored with the Lord and their place is among the angels if they shall continue to obey the Lord even to the end.

46.  As to the eleventh mountain in which were trees loaded with several sorts of fruits, they are such as have believed and suffered death for the name of the Lord, they endured with a ready mind and gave up their lives with all their heart."

47.  And I said; "Sir, although all of them having fruit, why is some fairer than of others?"  He answered; "Whoever have suffered for the Lord are esteemed with great honor by the Lord, and all their offenses are blotted out.

48.  The difference in the fruits then is that some excel others who being brought before rulers and asked of their faith did not deny the Lord but with a steady mind, these are more honorable with the Lord for which reason their fruit is most fair.

49.  While they who were fearful and doubtful and deliberated with themselves whether they should confess or deny Christ, and yet suffered, their fruits are smaller since this thought came into their heart.

50.  For it is a wicket and evil thought for a servant to deliberate whether he should deny his Master, take heed therefore, you who have such thoughts that this mind not continue in you lest you die unto God.

51.  For you who suffer death for His name sake ought to honor the Lord that He esteemed you worthy to bear His name and that you should be delivered of all your sins.

52.  Why then not esteem yourselves happy, for think this that if anyone among you suffers, he performs a great work, for the Lord gives you life, and shall you not understand this?

53.  For it were your offenses, which oppressed you, and had you not suffered for His name sake, you would now have been dead to the Lord.

54.  Therefore do I speak this to you who think to deliberate, do then confess that you have the Lord for your God, lest in the day that you deny Him you be delivered into bonds.

55.  For all nations punish their servants which deny their masters, what then do you think the Lord shall do to you, the Lord who has power over all things?  Remove therefore these doubts from your heart that you may live forever unto God.

56.  As for the twelfth mountain which was white, they are such as have believed like sincere children into whose thoughts never came any malice, nor have they ever known what sin was, but always continued in their integrity.

57.  For this reason this kind of men shall without doubt inherit the kingdom of God for they have never in anything defiled the commandments of God but continued with sincerity all the days of their life.

58.  Whosoever therefore shall continue as children without malice, shall be more honorable then all those of whom I have spoken, for all such children are honored by the Lord and esteemed first of all.

59.  Happy therefore are you who shall remove malice from you, and put on innocence, for you shall see the Lord as a first."

60.  And after thus having ended the explanation of all the mountains I said to him: "Sir, show me now also concerning the stones that were brought in out of the plain and placed into the tower in place of them that were rejected.  And also concerning the round stones which were added to the building, and of those who continued around it."

61.  And he said; "Those that were brought out of the plain and placed in place of those that were rejected, are of the root of that white mountain.

62.  For those of that mountain which believed - were very innocent and thus the Lord of the tower commanded that they which were of the root of that mountain should be placed in that building.

63.  For He knew that if they were put into this building that they would continue bright, for again; if instead He would have added from the rest of the mountains - He assuredly would have to make another visit to the tower to cleanse it.

64.  All these white stones thus are the young men that have believed, or shall believe, for they are all of the same kind, and blessed is this kind, for they are innocent.

65.  And concerning those that were round and bright; these all are of that white mountain, and the fact that they were round was because their riches darkened them a little from the truth and dazzled their eyes.

66.  They however never departed from the Lord nor has any wicket word proceeded from their mouths, but all righteousness, virtue, and truth.

67.  The Lord thus seeing their mind, and that they might adorn the truth, He commanded that they should continue well, but that their riches should be parted from them.

68.  For He would not have them wholly taken away - to the end that they might do some good with that which was left and live unto God.  For these also were of a good kind, and for that reason was some cut off of them so they might be placed into the building of the tower.

69.  As for the rest, which continued still around, were they that were not found suitable for the building of the tower, and not yet having received a seal - they were carried back, being found very round.

70.  For this present world must be cut away from them, and the vanity of their riches then - they will be fit for the kingdom of God, for again, they must enter into the kingdom of God since God has blessed this innocent kind.

71.  If this kind thus none shall fall away, for though any should offend -being tempted of the devil, he shall soon return to His Lord God.

72.  I the angel of repentance esteem you happy, all those that are innocent as little children for your portion is good and honorable with the Lord.

73.  And I say to all of you who have received this seal, keep simplicity, and remember not the offenses committed against you, nor continue in malice or in bitterness in the memory of offenses

74.  But become one spirit and provide remedies for evil hurts, and remove them from you, that the Lord of the sheep may rejoice at it, for He will rejoice when He shall find all of them whole.

75.  For if any of these sheep shall be found scattered, what shall that be to the shepherds?  And if the shepherds themselves are scattered what will He answer to the Lord of the sheepfold?  Will they say that they were troubled by the sheep?  But who shall believe that?

76.  For it is a horrible thing that the shepherd should allow his flock to suffer, and he will be punished yet more for this lie.  I now am the shepherd, and I must give special account of you.  Take therefore care of yourself while the tower is yet being built.

77.  The Lord dwells in those that love peace, for peace is beloved, but He is far from them that are contentious, and of them that malicious.

78.  Restore therefore the spirit whole unto Him as you received it, for if you deliver a garment new and whole to the cleaners, you expect to receive it whole again, if the cleaner therefore restores it to you torn, will you receive it?

79.  Would you not be angry and reproach him saying; I gave my garment whole to you, why then have you torn it to make it useless to me?  For now because of its tear it is of no use to me.

80.  Would you not say all this to the cleaner for the tear in your garment?  If you therefore so concern yourself for a tear in your garment, and complaining for it, what do you think the Lord will do who gave His spirit whole to you - and you rendered Him altogether unprofitable so that He no longer be of use to his Lord?

81.  Shall not the Lord do the same concerning His spirit for your deeds?"  I say; He no doubt will do the same to all whom He shall find to continue remembering injuries.

82.  Tread them not under foot - His mercies, so He spoke, but honor them, for He is patient with your offenses, and not like one of you, but repent, for that will be profitable for you.

83.  I the angel of repentance have spoken to you, and written all these things, and have shown to you the servants of God, if therefore you shall believe and listen to these words, and walk in them correcting your ways, you shall live.

84.  But if you continue in malice and in recalling of injuries, no such sinner shall live unto God, all these things which I have spoken I have thus delivered to you."

85.  Then the shepherd said to me; "Have you asked all things of me?"  And I answered; "Yes sir, I have."  "But why then, so he said, have you not asked concerning the spaces in these stones that were put into the building - so that I might explain that to you also?"

86.  And I answered; "I forgot Sir."  So he said; "Listen, they are those who heard these commands and repented with all their hearts, and the Lord seeing that their repentance was good and pure, and that they would continue in it, He commanded their former sins to be blotted out.

87.  For these spaces were their sins, therefore they were made even so they might not appear.

 

     Chapter 12

     The great angel confirms the Shepherd.

1.  Now after I had written this book, then the angel who had delivered me to that shepherd, came into the house where I was, and sat upon the bed, and the shepherd stood at his right hand.

2.  He then said to me; I delivered you and your house to this shepherd that you might be protected by him."  And I said, "Yes Lord".

3.  He said; "If you therefore desire to be protected from all vexation and from all cruelty, and to have success in every good word and work, and have all virtue and righteousness, walk in these commands which he has given you and you shall have dominion over all sin.

4.  For if you keep these commands all the lusts and pleasure of this present world shall be subject to you, and success shall follow you in every good undertaking.

5.  Take therefore this gravity and modesty upon you, and say to all that He is in great honor and renown with God, and a prince of great authority, and powerful in His office.

6.  To Him only is the power of repentance committed throughout the whole world, for does he not seem to you to be of great authority?  But you dislike his goodness and modesty which he shows towards you."

7.  I answered him "Sir, ask him if ever since he came to my house I have done anything disorderly, or offended him in any thing."

8.  He said; "I know that you have done nothing disorderly, nor will you do hereafter any such thing, therefore I spoke these things with you -that you may be preserved, for he has given me a good account concerning you.

9.  But now you shall speak these things to others that they who have repented, and that shall yet repent, may be like-minded with you, and he may give me a good account of them also, and I in turn do the same to the Lord."

10.  I answered; "Sir, I declare to all men the wonderful works of God, and I hope that all who love them, and having sinned, that when they shall hear these things, they will repent and recover life".

11.  He said; "Continue them in this ministry and fulfill it, and whosoever shall do according to the commands of his shepherd shall live and obtain great honor both here and with the Lord.

12.  But they who will not keep his commands are fleeing from their own life being adversaries to it, and shall deliverer themselves to death, and be guilty each one of his own blood.

13.  But I say to you, keep these commandments and you shall find a cure for all your sins.

14.  And I have also sent these virgins to dwell with you, for I have seen that they are very kind to you, you therefore shall have them for helpers that so much the better you may keep the commands which he has given you.

15.  For again, these commands cannot be kept without these virgins, and I behold how willing they are to serve you, and I will also command them that they shall not depart from your house.

16.  But you, purify your house, for they will readily dwell in a clean house, for they are clean and chaste and industrious, and all of them have grace with the Lord.

17.  If your house therefore shall be pure - they will abide with you, but if it shall ever be so little polluted - they will immediately depart from your house, for these virgins cannot endure any manner of pollution."

18.  I said to him; "Sir, I hope I shall so please them that they shall always delight to dwell in my house, and just as him to whom you has committed me made no complaint of me, so neither shall they complain."

19.  Then he said to the shepherd; "I see that the servant of God will live and keep these commandments, and place these virgins in a pure habitation."

20.  And having said this he delivered me again to that shepherd, and called the virgins and said to them.  "For as much as I see that you will readily dwell in this man's house, I commend him and his house to you that you may not at all depart from his house."  And they willingly heard his word.

21.  Then he said to me; "Go on manfully in your ministry, declare to all men the great things of God, and you shall find grace in his ministry.

22.  And whosoever shall walk in these commands shall live and be happy in life, but he that shall neglect them shall not live and be unhappy in life.

23.  Say to all; that whosoever can do well, not to cease in exercising themselves in good works, for this profitable to them, for I would that all men should be delivered from the inconvenience under which they lie.

24.  He that has want and suffers inconvenience in his daily life is in great torment and necessity; whosoever therefore delivers such a soul from necessities begets a great joy to himself.

25.  For he that is grieved with such inconveniences is equally tormented as if he were in chains, and many on account of such calamities, not being able to bear them, have chosen even to commit suicide.

26.  He therefore that knows the calamity of such men and does not free him from it, commits a great sin, and is guilty of his blood.

27.  Exercise yourself therefore in good works, as many as have received the ability thereto from the Lord, lest otherwise if you delay to do them - the building of the tower will be finished, for it is for your sake that the was delayed.

28.  Expect therefore to hasten to do well, for the tower shall be completed, and you shall be shut out of it."

29.  And after He had spoken to me, he rose up from the bed and departed taking the shepherd and the virgins with him.

30.  He however said to me that he would send the shepherd and the virgins back to my house.

Amen.