THE SHEPHERD OF HERMAS
cause the power of God is with them. But it misleads those who are empty and of two minds. 2 For when it sees such people at rest it inserts itself into their hearts, and with no warning the woman or man becomes embittered on account of some business deals, or because of food or something trivial, or because of a friend or some thing received or given, or because of other such foolish matters. For all these things are foolish, empty, senseless, and unproﬁtable for the slaves of God. 3 But patience is great and mighty; it has a forceful power that ﬂourishes in a spacious arena; it is cheerful, glad, and free of anxiety, glorifying the Lord at all times, having no bitterness in itself but remaining always meek and mild. This patience, therefore, dwells with all those who hold on to faith intact. 4 But irascibility is ﬁrst of all foolish, ﬁckle, and senseless. And then, from senselessness comes bitterness, from bit terness anger, from anger wrath, and from wrath rage. Then this rage, which is compounded of such evil things, be comes a great and incurable sin. 5 For when these spirits dwell in one and the same vessel with the holy spirit, the vessel no longer has sufﬁcient space but is stuffed to the brim. 6 And so the sensitive spirit, which is not accustomed to dwelling with an evil spirit nor with harshness, leaves the per son and seeks to live with meekness and mildness. 7 Then when it leaves the one it had inhabited, the person becomes devoid of the upright spirit and at last, being ﬁlled with evil spirits, vacillates in everything he does, being dragged back and forth by the evil spirits, entirely blinded from any good understanding. This then is what happens to everyone who is irascible. 8 And so, avoid irascibility, which is the most wicked spirit. Clothe yourself
with patience and stand against irascibil ity and bitterness, and you will be found with the reverence that is loved by the Lord. Take care that you never neglect this commandment. For if you master it, you will be able to guard the other com mandments, which I am about to give you. And so, be strong and empowered in them, and may everyone who wishes to proceed in them be so empowered.” . . .
The Parables That He Spoke With Me (I) He said to me, “You know that you slaves of God are living in a foreign land. For your own city is a long way from this one. If, then,” he said, “you know your own city, where you are about to live, why are you preparing ﬁelds, expensive furnishings, buildings, and pointless rooms for yourselves here? 2 Anyone who prepares these things in this city, therefore, cannot return to his own city. 3 You foolish, double-minded, and miserable person! Do you not understand that all these things belong to another and are under someone else’s control? For the ruler of this city will say, ‘I do not want you living in my city; leave it, because you are not living by my laws.’ 4 And so, you who have ﬁelds and houses and many other possessions— when he casts you out, what will you do with your ﬁeld and house and whatever else you have prepared for yourself? For the ruler of this country rightly says to you, ‘Either live by my laws or leave my country.’ 5 And so what will you do, you who have a law from your own city? Will you completely renounce your own law for the sake of your ﬁelds and whatever else you own, and follow the law of the city