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THE SHEPHERD OF HERMAS

who are upright, and the days of repen­ tance for all the saints are complete. But the outsidersc will be able to repent until the final day.’ 6 And so, say to those who lead the church that they are to make their paths straight in righteousness, that they may fully receive the promises with great glory. 7 You who do what is righteous should stand firm and not be of two minds, that your path may lie with the holy angels. How fortunate are all you who endure the great affliction that is coming and do not deny your life. 8 For the Lord has sworn by his Son, that those who deny their Lord have lost their life—that is, those who are about to deny him in the days that are coming. But through his great compassion, mercy has been given to those who denied the Lord previously.

(II, 3) “But you, Hermas, must no longer hold a grudge against your children nor leave your sister to her own devices, that they may be cleansed from their for­ mer sins. For they will be disciplined with an upright discipline, if you bear no grudge against them. A grudge produces death. But you, Hermas, have experi­ enced great afflictions of your own be­ cause of your family’s transgressions, since you paid no attention to them. You neglected them and became enmeshed in your own evil deeds. 2 But you are saved by not straying from the living God, and by your sim­ plicity and great self-restraint. These things have saved you, if you continue; and they save all those who do them and who proceed in innocence and simplicity. Such people will overcome all evil and persist to eternal life.

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3 How fortunate are all those who do righteousness. They will never perish. 4 Say to Maximus, ‘See, affliction is coming. If it seems right to you, make another denial.’d The Lord is near to those who convert, as is written in the Book of Eldad and Modat,e who prophesied to the people in the wilderness.”

(II, 4) While I was sleeping, brothers, I received a revelation from a very beautiful young man, who said to me: “The elderly woman from whom you re­ ceived the little book—who do you think she is?” “The Sibyl,” I replied. “You are wrong,” he said; “it is not she.” “Who then is it?” I asked. “The church,” he said. I said to him, “Why then is she elderly?” “Because,” he said, “she was created first, before anything else. That is why she is elderly, and for her sake the world was created.” 2 And afterward I saw a vision in my house. The elderly woman came and asked if I had already given the book to the presbyters. I said that I had not. “You have done well,” she said. “For I have some words to add. Then, when I com­ plete all the words, they will be made known through you to all those who are chosen. 3 And so, you will write two little books, sending one to Clement and the other to Grapte. Clement will send his to the foreign cities, for that is his commis­ sion. But Grapte will admonish the wid­ ows and orphans. And you will read yours in this city, with the presbyters who lead the church.”

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c

Literally: Gentiles; or nations d The quotation may continue to the end of the verse e This was an apoc­ ryphal book written in the names of the two prophets mentioned in Num. 11:26. It no longer survives.

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