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to myself, “If this sin is recorded against me, how can I be saved? Or how will I appease God for the sins I have recently committed?a What words can I use to ask the Lord for mercy?” 2 While I was mulling these things over in my heart and trying to reach a decision, I saw across from me a large white chair, made of wool, white as snow. And an elderly woman came, dressed in radiant clothes and holding a book in her hands. She sat down, alone, and ad­ dressed me, “Greetings, Hermas.” And I said, still upset and weeping, “Greetings Lady.” 3 She said to me, “Why are you sad, Hermas—you who are patient, slow to anger, and always laughing? Why are you so downcast, and not cheerful?” I replied to her, “Because of a very good woman who has been telling me that I sinned against her.” 4 And she said, “May such a thing never happen to a slave of God! But probably something did rise up in your heart about her. This kind of notion brings the slaves of God into sin. For when someone longs to do what is evil, it is an evil and shocking notion, directed against a fully reverend and tested spirit— especially for Hermas, the selfcontrolled, who abstains from every evil desire and is full of all simplicity and great innocence. (I, 3) “Still, God is angry with you, not about this, but so that you may convert your household, which has acted lawlessly against the Lord and against you, their parents. But since you yourself are so fond of your children you do not admonish your household, and so you allow it to be terribly ruined. This is why the Lord is angry with you. But he will heal every evil your household formerly



committed. For you yourself have been brought to ruin by the affairs of daily life—because of their sins and lawless acts. 2 But the Lord’s compassion has granted you and your household mercy, and it will make you strong and establish you in its glory. But you must not relax; instead, take courage and strengthen your household. For as the coppersmith ham­ mers his work to master the material as he wants, so also the upright word spoken every day masters all evil. Do not stop exhorting your children. For I know that if they repent from their whole heart, they will be recorded with the saints in the books of the living.” 3 When she finished these words, she said to me, “Do you want to hear me read?” I replied to her, “Yes, Lady, I do.” She said to me, “Be a hearer and hear the glories of God.” I heard great and amaz­ ing matters that I could not remember. For all the words were terrifying, more than a person can bear. But I have re­ membered the final words, for they were beneficial to us, and gentle: 4 “Behold, the powerful God, who with his invisible power, might, and great understanding created the world, and by his glorious plan encompassed his crea­ tion with beauty, and by his powerful word fixed the sky and founded the earth upon the waters, and by his unique wis­ dom and foreknowledge created his holy church, which he also blessed—behold, he transforms the skies and the mountains and the hills and the seas, and everything becomes level for his elect, that he may deliver over to them the promise he made, with great glory and joy, if they keep the ordinances of God, which they received in great faith.”


Or: for the sins I am yet to commit

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