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NON-CANONICAL EPISTLES AND RELATED WRITINGS

19

The humility and obedient low­ liness of so many people with such a strong reputation have improved not only us, but also the generations that came before us—indeed all those who received the sayings of God in reverential awe and truth. 2 And so, since we have shared in such numerous, great, and glorious deeds, we should forge ahead to the goal of peace that has been delivered to us from the beginning.36 And we should gaze intently on the Father and Creator of the entire world and cling to his magnificent and superior gifts of peace and acts of kindness. 3 We should observe him with under­ standing and look upon his patient will with the eyes of our soul. We should realize how he feels no anger towards his entire creation.

20

The heavens, which move about under his management, are peacefully subject to him. 2 Day and night complete the race­ course laid out by him, without impeding one another in the least. 3 Sun and moon and the chorus of stars roll along the tracks that have been ap­ pointed to them, in harmony, never crossing their lines, in accordance with the arrangement he has made. 4 By his will and in the proper seasons, the fertile earth brings forth its rich abun­ dance of nourishment for humans, beasts, and all living things that dwell on it, without dissenting or altering any of the decrees he has set forth. 5 Both the inscrutable regions of the abysses and the indescribable realms of the depths are constrained by the same commands. 6 The basin of the boundless sea, es­ tablished by his workmanship to hold the waters collected, does not cross its re­

straining barriers, but acts just as he ordered. 7 For he said, “You shall come this far, and your waves shall crash down within you.”37 8 The ocean, boundless to humans, and the worlds beyond it are governed by the same decrees of the Master. 9 The seasons—spring, summer, fall, and winter—succeed one another in peace. 10 The forcesi of the winds complete their service in their own proper sea­ son, without faltering. And the eternal fountains, created for enjoyment and health, provide their life-giving breasts to humans without ceasing. The most insignificant living creatures associate with one anotherj in harmony and peace. 11 The great Creator and Master of all appointed all these things to be in peace and harmony, bringing great benefits to all things, but most especially to us, who flee to his compassion through our Lord Jesus Christ. 12 To him be the glory and the majesty forever and ever. Amen.

21

Loved ones, you should take care that his many acts of kind­ ness do not lead to judgment against all of us. For this will happen if we fail to conduct ourselves worthily of him and do the things that are good and pleasing be­ fore him, in harmony. 2 For somewhere it says, “The Spirit of the Lord is a lamp that searches out the recesses deep within us.”38 3 We should realize how near he is, and that none of our thoughts or the dis­ putes we have had is hidden from him.

i

Or: stations

36

j

Or: have sexual intercourse

Cf. Heb 12:1–2.

37

Job 38:11.

38

Prov 20:27.

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