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THE SHEPHERD OF HERMAS

the saints. This is why they are of no use.” 3 “But who are the ones with cracks?” “These are those who hold a grudge against one another in their hearts and have no peace among themselves. Even though they seem to be peace-loving, when they leave one another’s presence, their wickedness remains in their hearts. These are the cracks the stones have. 4 But the ones that are broken off are those who have believed and live, for the most part, in righteousness, but also have a certain share of lawlessness. This is why they are broken off and not whole.” 5 “But who are the white stones, Lady, which are rounded and do not fit into the building?” She replied to me, “How long will you be foolish and ignorant, asking everything and understanding nothing? These are the ones who have faith, but also are wealthy in this age. But when affliction comes, because of their wealth and their business affairs, they deny their Lord.” 6 And I responded to her, “And so when, Lady, will they be useful for the building?” “When the wealth that be­ guiles them is cut off from them,” she said, “then they will be useful to God. For just as a round stone cannot be made square unless it has something cut off and discarded, so also with those who are rich in this age: if their wealth is not cut off from them, they cannot be useful to the Lord. 7 You should know this above all from your own case. When you were wealthy, you were of no use; but now you are useful and helpful in life. All of you should be useful to God. For you yourself are also being taken from the same stones. (III, 7) “But the other stones that you saw cast far from the tower and falling on the path and rolling from the

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path onto the rough terrain, these are the ones who have believed, but have left their true path because they are of two minds. They are lost, thinking they can find a better path; and they are miserable, walking over the rough terrain. 2 But the ones that fell into the fire and were burned are those who completely abandoned the living God; and they no longer think about repenting because of their licentious desires and the wicked deeds they have performed.” 3 “But who are the other ones, which fall near the water but cannot be rolled into it?” “These are the ones who have heard the word and wanted to be baptized in the name of the Lord. But then when they recall what the life of true purity involves, they change their minds and return to pursue their evil desires.” 4 And so she completed her interpre­ tation of the tower. 5 But being completely shameless, I asked her yet another question, whether these stones that were tossed aside and not fit into the building of the tower could repent and have a place in the tower. “They can repent,” she said, “but they cannot be fit into this tower. 6 They will be fit into a greatly inferior place—and then only after they have been tormented and have completed the days of their sins. That is why they will be removed from there, because they have taken part in the righteous word. And then they will be removed from the torments inflicted for the evil deeds they did. But if deep down they do not want to repent, they will not be saved, because of their hardened hearts.” (III, 8) And so, when I stopped asking her about all these things, she said to me, “Do you want to see some­ thing else?” Being so eager to observe, I was excited by the prospect. 2 She looked at me and smiled, and

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http://sheekh-3arb.org/library/books/christian/en/LostScriptures.pdf

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