A resume of the Mandates on the Book of Shepherd of Hermas (part 3)
13 - Doubt not when asking something to the Lord.
"1. HE said to me, Put away from thee doublemindedness, and
doubt not to ask anything at all from God, saying within thyself,
How can I ask and receive anything from the Lord who have so greatly
sinned against Him?
2. Reason not thus with thyself, but with all thy heart turn to the Lord,
and ask of Him without doubting, and thou shalt know His much compassion,
how that He will not forsake thee but will fulfil the request of thy soul.
3. For God is not as men who bear malice, but He remembereth not wrong
and pitieth His handiwork.
4. Do thou therefore cleanse thy heart from all the vanities of this world
and the things before spoken of to thee, [from doubtfulness]
ask of the Lord and thou shalt receive all things,
and shalt not be disappointed of any of thy requests,
if thou ask of the Lord without doubting.
5. But if thou doubt in thy heart, thou shalt surely not receive any of thy requests.
For they who doubt toward God, these are the doubleminded, and
they obtain nothing at all of their petitions.
6. But such as are whole in the faith ask all things trusting on the Lord,
and they receive because they ask confidently, nothing doubting.
For every man of doubtful mind, except he repent, shall hardly be saved.
7. Cleanse therefore thy heart from doubtfulness, and put on faith,
for she is strong; and trust God that thou shalt receive all thy petitions
which thou askest.
And if at any time when thou hast made a request of the Lord thou receive it
somewhat slowly doubt not because thou didst not receive the request of thy soul
speedily; for it is surely because of some temptation or some trespass
which thou art not aware of that thou receivest thy request the more slowly.
8. Do thou therefore cease not to make the request of thy soul,
and thou shalt receive it."
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Mand. 1.1-8)
12. Do thou therefore serve faith which hath power,
and keep thy-self from doubt which hath no power,
and thou shalt live unto God;
and all shall live unto God who are thus minded.
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Mand. 1.12)
14 - Repent, but don´t live in sorrow forever.
"1. Put away sorrow from thee, quoth he; for she is a sister of doublemlndedness
and quick temper." (Shepherd of Hermas 10th Mand. 1.1)
"Perceivest thou not that sorrow is worse than all the spirits
and most dreadful to the servants of God, and corrupteth a man more than all
the spirits, and weareth out the Holy Spirit, and again saveth?"
(Shepherd of Hermas 10th Mand. 1.2)
"1. Hear now, quoth he, O foolish man, how sorrow weareth out the Holy Spirit
and again saveth.
2. When the doubleminded man setteth himself to any business
and faileth in it because of his doublemindedness, this same sorrow entereth
into the man and grieveth and weareth out the Holy Spirit.
3. Then again, whenever quick temper hath joined itself to a man in respect
of some matter, and he is in much bitterness, again sorrow entereth
into the heart of the man that was angered, and he is grieved at his deed
which he did, and repenteth of having wrought evil.
4. This sorrow then seemeth to have salvation, because when he had done evil
Both behaviours therefore grieve the Spirit; doubting, because it
had not good success in its doing, and anger likewise, because it wrought evil.
Both are grievous to the Spirit of God, doublemindedness and passionateness.
5. Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart and afflict not the Holy Spirit
which dwelleth in thee, lest it make intercession against thee with God and
depart from thee. For the Spirit of God which was given to be in this flesh
beareth neither sorrow nor straitness."
(Shepherd of Hermas 10th Mand. 2.1-5)
15 - Put on joyfulness.
"1. Put on joyfulness therefore, which always hath favour with God and is acceptable
to Him, and delight thou in her.
For every joyful man worketh good things, and mindeth good things
and despiseth sorrow,
2. But the sorrowful man always doeth wickedly. "
(Shepherd of Hermas 10th Mand. 3.1,2)
"4. Cleanse thyself therefore from this evil sorrow, and thou shalt live unto God;
and all shall live unto God, as many as put away sadness from them and
put on all joy fulness." (Shepherd of Hermas 10th Mand. 3.4)
16 - Study the scriptures. Search about the truth. Cleave therefore unto the Lord.
"4. Hear, quoth he ; they who never searched about the truth
nor enquired diligently concerning the things of God,
but believed only, and were mixed up with business and wealth and
heathen friendships and many other affairs of this world; such, I say,
as are intent upon these things understand not the parables of divinity,
for they are darkened by these employments, and they decay and grow barren.
5. Even as goodly vineyards, when they meet with neglect, are made barren
by thorns and all manner of weeds, so do men who after they have believed
fall into these many doings before said wander from their mind and apprehend
nothing at all about righteousness; for when they hear the things of God and truth,
their mind is sunk in their business, and they understand nothing at all.
6. But they who have fear of God, and search about divinity and truth,
and have their heart set unto the Lord, do more quickly perceive and understand
all the things said to them because they have the fear of the Lord within them;
for where the Lord dwelleth, there is also much understanding.
Cleave therefore unto the Lord, and thou shalt understand and apprehend all things."
(Shepherd of Hermas, 10th Mand. 1.4-6)
"Ye adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?
Whosoever therefore would be a friend of the world maketh himself an enemy of God.
Or think ye that the scripture speaketh in vain? Doth the spirit which he made to dwell in us long unto envying?" (James 4:4-5)