Sunday, May 24, 2015

A resume of the Similitudes of the Shepherd of Hermas Book (part 8)

A resume of the Similitudes of the Shepherd of Hermas Book (part 8)

The presumptuousness of some believers.

"1. The believers from the fifth mountain, which had green herbs and was rough,
are of this kind; they are faithful but slow to learn, presumptuous
and pleasers of their own selves; would be knowers of all things
when they know nothing at all.

2. Because of this their presumptuousness prudence hath forsaken them,
and senseless folly hath entered into them.
They commend themselves as having wisdom, and choose to be professing teachers
when they are without understanding.

3. Because of this highmindedness many were made vain who exalted themselves;
for a great demon is selfconceit and vain confidence.
Many of these therefore were cast away; but some repented and believed
and submitted themselves to those who had understanding, having come to know
their own folly.
4. And to the residue also of this sort repentance is offered;
for they were not wicked, but rather foolish and without understanding.
These if they repent shall live unto God; ..."
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim. 22.1-4)

Repent and quit slandering.

"...And the rest shall repent when they hear my commandments,
for their evil speakings are of small account and they will quickly repent.
3. But they with the great clefts aie men who persevere in their slanders,
and grow resentful in their ragings against one another.
These were flung away from the tower and disallowed for the building thereof.
Hardly therefore shall such like live."
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim. 23.1-3)

 "4. If God and our Lord, who hath the mastery of all things and beareth rule
over all His creation, remembereth not evil against those who confess their sins,
but is forgiving; shall man who is perishable and full of sins remember evil
against a man as though he could destroy or save him?
5. I, the Angel of Repentance, say unto you, as many as are of this persuasion,
put it away and repent, and the Lord shall heal your former sins
if ye purge yourselves from this devil;
else ye shall be delivered unto him for death. "
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim. 23.4,5)

The perfect believers of God (from the seventh mountain)

"1. The believers from the seventh mountain, on which were green pleasant herbs,
and the whole mount was well liking, and every kind of cattle and the fowls
of heaven were feeding upon the herbs of that mountain,
and the herbs they fed upon grew the more thriving, are such as these.
2. They were always simple and guileless and happy,
having nothing against one another but always rejoicing over the servants of God;

they were endued with the Holy Spirit of these virgins,
and continually had compassion upon every man, and out of their labours
they furnished every man without upbraiding or doubting.
3. The Lord therefore, seeing their singleness and perfect childliness,
gave them increase in the labours of their hands and favoured them
in all their doing.

4. I, the Angel of Repentance, say unto you who are such like,
Remain such, and your seed shall never be blotted out.
For the Lord hath proved you and written you in our number,
and all your seed shall dwell with the Son of God;
for ye have received of His Spirit." (Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim. 24. 1-5)

Apostles and teachers, the believers from the eighth mountain.

"1. The believers from the eighth mountain, where were the many springs,
and the whole creation of the Lord was watered from the springs, are such as these.
2. Apostles and teachers who preached to the whole world,
and taught the word of the Lord reverently and purely, and kept not back anything
for evil desire, but always walked in righteousness and truth,
even as they had received the Holy Ghost.
The passing of such as these is with the angels." (Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim. 25. 1-2)

The believers from the ninth mountain

"1. The believers from the ninth mountain, which was desert
and had in it the creeping things and beasts hurtful to men, are of this kind. "
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim. 26.1)

The spoted ones:

"2. They with the spots are deacons who ministered amiss,
and plundered the living of widows and orphans,
and gat gain for themselves from the ministry which they had received to administer.
If therefore they continue in the same covetousness,
they are dead and have no hope of life; but if they convert and discharge
their ministry incorruptly, they shall be able to live. "
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim. 26.2)

The scabbed ones:

"3. The scabbed ones are those who denied and turned not again unto their Lord;
but being grown barren and desert, not cleaving to the servants of God
but keeping alone, they destroy their own souls.

4. For as a vine left alone within a fence and treated with neglect is spoiled
and wasted by the weeds, and in time groweth wild and is no longer meet
for its master's use; so such men despair of themselves, and having grown wild
become unprofitable to their Lord.
5. For these however there is repentance, unless they be found to have denied
from the heart; but if one be found to have denied from his heart I know not
if he can live.
6. This I say not for these days, that a man after denying should be allowed
repentance, for it is impossible that one who is now going to deny his Lord
should be saved; but for those who denied long ago there seemeth yet
to be opportunity of repentance.
If then any one is about to repent, let him be quick
before the tower is finished off;
else he shall be wasted by the women unto death. "
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim. 26.3-6)

The stunted ones:

"7. The stunted ones, these are wily men and slanderers;
and the beasts which thou sawest on the mountain are these also.
For as the beasts poison and destroy a man by their venom,
even so do the words of such persons corrupt and destroy a man.
8. These therefore are maimed in their faith by reason of the customs
which they practise; but some repented and were saved.
And the rest who are such may be saved if they repent; but if they repent not,
they shall die by the hand of those women, of whose power they are possessed."
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim. 26.7,8)

11th Mountain - Sufferers for the sake of the name of the Son of God

1. The believers from the eleventh mountain, whereon were very fruitful trees
decked with different kinds of fruits, are such as these. 
2. Sufferers for the sake of the name of the Son of God,
who suffered readily with their whole heart and gave up their lives. ...
4. As many, quoth he, as were brought before authorities and questioned
and denied not, but suffered with a ready mind, these are in greater honour
with the Lord; and theirs is the fruit which excelleth.
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim. 28.1-4)

...Ye who suffer for the sake of the name ought to glorify God,
for that He hath counted you worthy to bear this name,
and to have all your sins healed.
6. Therefore count yourselves happy; yea, and think that one of you
hath done some great thing if he suffer for God's sake.
The Lord graciously giveth you life though ye perceive it not;
for your sins were heavy upon you, and except ye had suffered for the name
of the Lord ye would have died unto God because of your sins.  
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim. 28.5,6)

12th Mountain - as infant babes in whose heart no thought of evil ariseth.

"1. The believers from the twelfth, which was the white mountain, are of this kind;
they are as infant babes in whose heart no thought of evil ariseth.
They know not what wickedness is, but always continued in their infancy.
2. Such therefore dwell without doubt in the kingdom of God;
because in no manner of thing did they violate the commandments of God,
but they continued as it were infants all the days of their life, in the same mind."
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim 29.1,2)

"...The stones taken from the plain, which were put into the building of the tower
instead of the rejected ones, are the roots of this white mountain.
2. Seeing then that the believers from this mountain were all found void of offence,
the lord of the tower ordered these stones from the roots of this mountain
to be cast into the building of the tower; for he knew that, if these went
into the building of the tower, they would remain bright,
and none of them would turn black. "
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim 30.1,2)

"3. I, the Angel of Repentance, judge you all happy, as many as are blameless
as infants, for that your estate is good and honourable with God. "
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim 31.3)  

Amend you therefore while the tower is yet being built.

"1. Amend you therefore while the tower is yet being built.
2. The Lord dwelleth in men who love peace, for peace is dear unto Him;
but He is far off from the contentious and malicious.
Give your spirit back to Him therefore whole as ye received it." 
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim 32.1,2)

"...what thinkest thou the Lord will do to thee,
when He gave thee a perfect spirit and thou hast made it quite useless,
so that it can be made no use of by its owner?
For the use thereof began to be of no account when it had been damaged by thee.
Will not then the Lord of that spirit destroy thee because of this thy deed?
5. Assuredly, said I, He will so do to all whom He shall have found continuing
mindful of offences. Choose not, quoth he, to trample His mercy under foot;
but rather glorify Him because He is so patient toward your misdeeds,
and is not as ye are.
Repent therefore, as is expedient for you."  
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim 32.4,5)

Repent with your whole heart and have your sins blotted out.

"1. ALL the things before written I, the Shepherd, the Angel of Repentance,
have declared and spoken with the servants of God.
If then ye believe and attend to my words and walk in them and amend your ways,
ye shall be able to live.
But if ye continue in malice and resentfulness, none such shall live unto God."   
(Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim 33.1) 

"...These are they who have now heard my commandments and repented with their
whole hearts. And when the Lord saw that their repentance was good and pure,
and that they were able to continue in it, He commanded their former sins
to be blotted out. For these prints were their sins; and they were made even,
that they might not appear."  (Shepherd of Hermas 9th Sim 33.3)