How blessed and marvelous are the gifts of God, dearly beloved!!
Life in immortality, splendor in righteousness, truth in boldness,
faith in confidence, temperance in sanctification! And all these things
fall under our apprehension. What then, think ye, are the things
preparing for them that patiently await Him? The Creator and Father of
the ages, the All holy One Himself knoweth their number and their
beauty. Let us therefore contend, that we may be found in the number of
those that patiently await Him, to the end that we may be partakers of
His promised gifts. But how shall this be, dearly beloved? If our mind
be fixed through faith towards God; if we seek out those things which
are well pleasing and acceptable unto Him; if we accomplish such things
as beseem His faultless will, and follow the way of truth, casting off
from ourselves all unrighteousness and iniquity, covetousness, strifes,
malignities and deceits, whisperings and backbitings, hatred of God,
pride and arrogance, vainglory and inhospitality. For they that do
these things are hateful to God; and not only they that do them, but
they also that consent unto them. For the scripture saith, But unto the
sinner said God, Wherefore dost thou declare Mine ordinances, and
takest My covenant upon thy lips? Yet Thou didst hate instruction and
didst cast away My words behind thee. If thou sawest a thief thou didst
keep company with him, and with the adulterers thou didst set thy
portion. Thy mouth multiplied wickedness and thy tongue wove deceit.
Thou sattest and spakest against thy brother, and against the son of
thy mother thou didst lay a stumbling block. These things Thou hast
done, and I kept silence. Thou thoughtest, unrighteous man, that I
should be like unto thee. I will convict thee and will set thee face to
face with thyself. Now understand ye these things, ye that forget God,
lest at any time He seize you as a lion, and there be none to deliver.
The sacrifice of praise shall glorify Me, and there is the way wherein
I will show him the salvation of God. 

   This is the way, dearly beloved, wherein we found our salvation,
even Jesus Christ the High priest of our offerings, the Guardian and
Helper of our weakness. Through Him let us look steadfastly unto the
heights of the heavens; through Him we behold as in a mirror His
faultless and most excellent visage; through Him the eyes of our hearts
were opened; through Him our foolish and darkened mind springeth up
unto the light; through Him the Master willed that we should taste of
the immortal knowledge Who being the brightness of His majesty is so
much greater than angels, as He hath inherited a more excellent name.
For so it is written Who maketh His angels spirits and His ministers
aflame of fire but of His Son the Master said thus, Thou art My Son, I
this day have begotten thee. Ask of Me, and I will give Thee the
Gentiles for Thine inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Thy
possession. And again He saith unto Him Sit Thou on My right hand,
until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet. Who then are these
enemies? They that are wicked and resist His will. 

   Let us therefore enlist ourselves, brethren, with all earnestness in
His faultless ordinances. Let us mark the soldiers that are enlisted
under our rulers, how exactly, how readily, how submissively, they
execute the orders given them. All are not prefects, nor rulers of
thousands, nor rulers of hundreds, nor rulers of fifties, and so forth;
but each man in his own rank executeth the orders given by the king and
the governors. The great without the small cannot exist, neither the
small without the great. There is a certain mixture in all things, and
therein is utility. Let us take our body as an example. The head
without the feet is nothing; so likewise the feet without the head are
nothing: even the smallest limbs of our body are necessary and useful
for the whole body: but all the members conspire and unite in
subjection, that the whole body maybe saved. 

   So in our case let the whole body be saved in Christ Jesus, and let
each man be subject unto his neighbor, according as also he was
appointed with his special grace. Let not the strong neglect the weak;
and let the weak respect the strong. Let the rich minister aid to the
poor; and let the poor give thanks to God, because He hath given him
one through whom his wants may be supplied. Let the wise display his
wisdom, not in words, but in good works. He that is lowly in mind, let
him not bear testimony to himself, but leave testimony to be borne to
him by his neighbor. He that is pure in the flesh, let him be so, and
not boast, knowing that it is Another who bestoweth his continence upon
him. Let us consider, brethren, of what matter we were made; who and
what manner of beings we were, when we came into the world; from what a
sepulchre and what darkness He that molded and created us brought us
into His world, having prepared His benefits aforehand ere ever we were
born. Seeing therefore that we have all these things from Him, we ought
in all things to give thanks to Him, to whom be the glory for ever and
ever. Amen. 

   Senseless and stupid and foolish and ignorant men jeer and mock at
us, desiring that they themselves should be exalted in their
imaginations. For what power hath a mortal? or what strength hath a
child of earth? For it is written; There was no form before mine eyes;
only I heard a breath and a voice. What then? Shall a mortal be clean
in the sight of the Lord; or shall a man be unblamable for his works?
seeing that He is distrustful against His servants and noteth some
perversity against His angels. Nay, the heaven is not clean in His
sight. Away then, ye that dwell in houses of clay, whereof, even of the
same clay, we ourselves are made. He smote them like a moth, and from
morn to even they are no more. Because they could not succor
themselves, they perished. He breathed on them and they died, because
they had no wisdom. But call thou, if perchance one shall obey thee, or
if thou shalt see one of the holy angels. For wrath killeth the foolish
man, and envy slayeth him that has gone astray. And I have seen fools
throwing out roots, but forthwith their habitation was eaten up. Far be
their sons from safety. May they be mocked at the gates of inferiors,
and there shall be none to deliver them. For the things which are
prepared for them, the righteous shall eat; but they themselves shall
not be delivered from evils. 

   Forasmuch then as these things are manifest beforehand, and we have
searched into the depths of the Divine knowledge, we ought to do all
things in order, as many as the Master hath commanded us to perform at
their appointed seasons. Now the offerings and ministrations He
commanded to be performed with care, and not to be done rashly or in
disorder, but at fixed times and seasons. And where and by whom He
would have them performed, He Himself fixed by His supreme will: that
all things being done with piety according to His good pleasure might
be acceptable to His will. They therefore that make their offerings at
the appointed seasons are acceptable and blessed: for while they follow
the institutions of the Master they cannot go wrong. For unto the high
priest his proper services have been assigned, and to the priests their
proper office is appointed, and upon the levites their proper
ministrations are laid. The layman is bound by the layman's ordinances.

   Let each of you, brethren, in his own order give thanks unto God,
maintaining a good conscience and not transgressing the appointed rule
of his service, but acting with all seemliness. Not in every place,
brethren, are the continual daily sacrifices offered, or the freewill
offerings, or the sin offerings and the trespass offerings, but in
Jerusalem alone. And even there the offering is not made in every
place, but before the sanctuary in the court of the altar; and this too
through the high priest and the afore said ministers, after that the
victim to be offered hath been inspected for blemishes. They therefore
who do any thing contrary to the seemly ordinance of His will receive
death as the penalty. Ye see, brethren, in proportion as greater
knowledge hath been vouchsafed unto us, so much the more are we exposed
to danger. 

   The Apostles received the Gospel for us from the Lord Jesus Christ;
Jesus Christ was sent forth from God. So then Christ is from God, and
the Apostles are from Christ. Both therefore came of the will of God in
the appointed order. Having therefore received a charge, and having
been fully assured through the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ
and confirmed in the word of God with full assurance of the Holy Ghost,
they went forth with the glad tidings that the kingdom of God should
come. So preaching everywhere in country and town, they appointed their
firstfruits, when they had proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and
deacons unto them that should believe. And this they did in no new
fashion; for indeed it had been written concerning bishops and deacons
from very ancient times; for thus saith the scripture in a certain
place, I will appoint their bishops in righteousness and their deacons
in faith. 

   And what marvel, if they which were entrusted in Christ with such a
work by God appointed the aforesaid persons? seeing that even the
blessed Moses who was a faithful servant in all His house recorded for
a sign in the sacred books all things that were enjoined upon him. And
him also the rest of the prophets followed, bearing witness with him
unto the laws that were ordained by him. For he, when jealousy arose
concerning the priesthood, and there was dissension among the tribes
which of them was adorned with the glorious name, commanded the twelve
chiefs of the tribes to bring to him rods inscribed with the name of
each tribe. And he took them and tied them and sealed them with the
signet rings of the chiefs of the tribes, and put them away in the
tabernacle of the testimony on the table of God. And having shut the
tabernacle he sealed the keys and likewise also the doors. And he said
unto them, Brethren, the tribe whose rod shall bud, this hath God
chosen to be priests and ministers unto Him. Now when morning came, he
called together all Israel, even the six hundred thousand men, and
showed the seals to the chiefs of the tribes and opened the tabernacle
of the testimony and drew forth the rods. And the rod of Aaron was
found not only with buds, but also bearing fruit. What think ye, dearly
beloved? Did not Moses know beforehand that this would come to pass?
Assuredly he knew it. But that disorder might not arise in Israel, he
did thus, to the end that the Name of the true and only God might be
glorified: to whom he the glory for ever and ever. Amen... 

   And our Apostles knew through our Lord Jesus Christ that there would
be strife over the name of the bishop's office. For this cause
therefore, having received complete foreknowledge, they appointed the
aforesaid persons, and afterwards they provided a continuance, that if
these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed to their
ministration. Those therefore who were appointed by them, or afterward
by other men of repute with the consent of the whole Church, and have
ministered unblamably to the flock of Christ in lowliness of mind,
peacefully and with all modesty, and for long time have borne a good
report with all these men we consider to be unjustly thrust out from
their ministration. For it will be no light sin for us, if we thrust
out those who have offered the gifts of the bishop's office unblamably
and holily. Blessed are those presbyters who have gone before, seeing
that their departure was fruitful and ripe: for they have no fear lest
any one should remove them from their appointed place. For we see that
ye have displaced certain persons, though they were living honorably,
from the ministration which had been respected by them blamelessly. 

   Be ye contentious, brethren, and jealous about the things that
pertain unto salvation. Ye have searched the scriptures, which are
true, which were given through the Holy Ghost; and ye know that nothing
unrighteous or counterfeit is written in them. Ye will not find that
righteous persons have been thrust out by holy men. Righteous men were
persecuted, but it was by the lawless; they were imprisoned, but it was
by the unholy. They were stoned by transgressors: they were slain by
those who had conceived a detestable and unrighteous jealousy.
Suffering these things, they endured nobly. For what must we say,
brethren? Was Daniel cast into the lions' den by them that feared God?
Or were Ananias and Azarias and Misael shut up in the furnace of fire
by them that professed the excellent and glorious worship of the Most
High? Far be this from our thoughts. Who then were they that did these
things? Abominable men and full of all wickedness were stirred up to
such a pitch of wrath, as to bring cruel suffering upon them that
served God in a holy and blameless purpose, not knowing that the Most
High is the champion and protector of them that in a pure conscience
serve His excellent Name: unto whom be the glory for ever and ever.
Amen. But they that endured patiently in confidence inherited glory and
honor; they were exalted, and had their names recorded by God in their
memorial for ever and ever. Amen. 

   To such examples as these therefore, brethren, we also ought to
cleave. For it is written; Cleave unto the saints, for they that cleave
unto them shall be sanctified. And again He saith in another place;
With the guiltless man thou shalt be guiltless, and with the elect thou
shalt be elect, and with the crooked thou shalt deal crookedly. Let us
therefore cleave to the guiltless and righteous: and these are the
elect of God. Wherefore are there strifes and wraths and factions and
divisions and war among you? Have we not one God and one Christ and one
Spirit of grace that was shed upon us? And is there not one calling in
Christ? Wherefore do we tear and rend asunder the members of Christ,
and stir up factions against our own body, and reach such a pitch of
folly, as to forget that we are members one of another? Remember the
words of Jesus our Lord: for He said, Woe unto that man; it were good
for him if he had not been born, rather than that at he should offend
one of Mine elect. It were better for him that a millstone were hanged
about him, and be cast into the sea, than that he should pervert one of
Mine elect. Your division hath perverted many; it hath brought many to
despair, many to doubting, and all of us to sorrow. And your sedition
still continueth. 

   Take up the epistle of the blessed Paul the Apostle. What wrote he
first unto you in the beginning of the Gospel? Of a truth he charged
you in the Spirit concerning himself and Cephas and Apollos, because
that even then ye had made parties. Yet that making of parties brought
less sin upon you; for ye were partisans of Apostles that were highly
reputed, and of a man approved in their sight. But now mark ye, who
they are that have perverted you and diminished the glory of your
renowned love for the brotherhood. It is shameful, dearly beloved, yes,
utterly shameful and unworthy of your conduct in Christ, that it should
be reported that the very steadfast and ancient Church of the
Corinthians, for the sake of one or two persons, maketh sedition
against its presbyters. And this report hath reached not only us, but
them also which differ from us, so that ye even heap blasphemies on the
Name of the Lord by reason of your folly, and moreover create peril for

   Let us therefore root this out quickly, and let us fall down before
the Master and entreat Him with tears, that He may show Himself
propitious and be reconciled unto us, and may restore us to the seemly
and pure conduct which belongeth to our love of the brethren. For this
is a gate of righteousness opened unto life, as it is written; Open me
the gates of righteousness, that I may enter in thereby and preach the
Lord. This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter in
thereby. Seeing then that many gates are opened, this is that gate
which is in righteousness, even that which is in Christ, whereby all
are blessed that have entered in and direct their path in holiness and
righteousness, performing all things without confusion. Let a man be
faithful, let him be able to expound a deep saying, let him be wise in
the discernment of words, let him be strenuous in deeds, let him be
pure; for so much the more ought he to be lowly in mind, in proportion
as he seemeth to be the greater; and he ought to seek the common
advantage of all, and not his own. 

   Let him that hath love in Christ fulfill the commandments of Christ.
Who can declare the bond of the love of God? Who is sufficient to tell
the majesty of its beauty? The height, where unto love exalteth, is
unspeakable. Love joineth us unto God; love covereth a multitude of
sins; love endureth all things, is long-suffering in all things. There
is nothing coarse, nothing arrogant in love. Love hath no divisions,
love maketh no seditions, love doeth all things in concord. In love
were all the elect of God made perfect; without love nothing is well
pleasing to God: in love the Master took us unto Himself; for the love
which He had toward us, Jesus Christ our Lord hath given His blood for
us by the will of God, and His flesh for our flesh and His life for our

   Ye see, dearly beloved, how great and marvelous a thing is love, and
there is no declaring its perfection. Who is sufficient to be found
therein, save those to whom God shall vouchsafe it? Let us therefore
entreat and ask of His mercy, that we may be found blameless in love,
standing apart from the factiousness of men. All the generations from
Adam unto this day have passed away: but they that by God's grace were
perfected in love dwell in the abode of the pious; and they shall be
made manifest in the visitation of the Kingdom of God. For it is
written; Enter into the closet for a very little while until Mine anger
and Mine wrath shall pass away, and I will remember a good day and will
raise you from your tombs. Blessed were we, dearly beloved, if we
should be doing the commandments of God in concord of love, to the end
that our sins may through love be forgiven us. For it is written;
Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are
covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall impute no sin,
neither is guile in his mouth. This declaration of blessedness was
pronounced upon them that have been elected by God through Jesus Christ
our Lord, to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen. 

   For all our transgressions which we have committed through any of
the wiles of the adversary, let us entreat that we may obtain
forgiveness. Yea and they also, who set themselves up as leaders of
faction and division, ought to look to the common ground of hope. For
such as walk in fear and love desire that they themselves should fall
into suffering rather than their neighbors; and they pronounce
condemnation against themselves rather than against the harmony which
hath been handed down to us nobly and righteously. For it is good for a
man to make confession of his trespasses rather than to harden his
heart, as the heart of those was hardened who made sedition against
Moses the servant of God; whose condemnation was clearly manifest, for
they went down to hades alive, and Death shall be their shepherd.
Pharaoh and his host and all the rulers of Egypt, their chariots and
their horsemen, were overwhelmed in the depths of the Red Sea, and
perished for none other reason but because their foolish hearts were
hardened after that the signs and the wonders had been wrought in the
land of Egypt by the hand of Moses the servant of God. 

   The Master, brethren, hath need of nothing at all. He desireth not
anything of any man, save to confess unto Him. For the elect David
saith; I will confess unto the Lord, and it shall please Him more than
a young calf that groweth horns and hoofs. Let the poor see it, and
rejoice. And again He saith; Sacrifice to God a sacrifice of praise,
and pay thy vows to the Most High: and call upon Me in the day of thine
affliction, and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me. For a
sacrifice unto God is a broken spirit. 

   For ye know, and know well, the sacred scriptures, dearly beloved,
and ye have searched into the oracles of God. We write these things
therefore to put you in remembrance. When Moses went up into the
mountain and had spent forty days and forty nights in fasting and
humiliation, God said unto him; Moses, Moses, come down , quickly
hence, for My people whom thou leadest forth from the land of Egypt
have wrought iniquity: they have transgressed quickly out of the way
which thou didst command unto them: they have made for themselves
molten images. And the Lord said unto him; I have spoken unto thee once
and twice, saying, I have seen this people, and behold it is
stiff-necked. Let Me destroy them utterly, and I will blot out their
name from under heaven, and I will make of thee a nation great and
wonderful and numerous more than this. And Moses said; Nay, not so,
Lord Forgive this people their sin, or blot me also out of the book of
the living. O mighty love! O unsurpassable perfection! The servant is
bold with his Master; he asketh forgiveness for the multitude, or he
demandeth that himself also be blotted out with them. 

   Who therefore is noble among you? Who is compassionate? Who is
fulfilled with love? Let him say; If by reason of me there be faction
and strife and divisions, I retire, I depart, whither ye will, and I do
that which is ordered by the people: only let the flock of Christ be at
peace with its duly appointed presbyters. He that shall have done this,
shall win for himself great renown in Christ, and every place will
receive him: for the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof. Thus
have they done and will do, that live as citizens of that kingdom of
God which bringeth no regrets. 

   But, to bring forward examples of Gentiles also; many kings and
rulers, when some season of pestilence pressed upon them, being taught
by oracles have delivered themselves over to death, that they might
rescue their fellow citizens through their own blood. Many have retired
from their own cities, that they might have no more seditions. We know
that many among ourselves have delivered themselves to bondage, that
they might ransom others. Many have sold themselves to slavery, and
receiving the price paid for themselves have fed others. Many women
being strengthened through the grace of God have performed many manly
deeds. The blessed Judith, when the city was beleaguered, asked of the
elders that she might be suffered to go forth into the camp of the
aliens. So she exposed herself to peril and went forth for love of her
country and of her people which were beleaguered; and the Lord
delivered Holophernes into the hand of a woman. To no less peril did
Esther also, who was perfect in faith, expose herself, that she might
deliver the twelve tribes of Israel, when they were on the point to
perish. For through her fasting and her humiliation she entreated the
all seeing Master, the God of the ages; and He, seeing the humility of
her soul, delivered the people for whose sake she encountered the

   Therefore let us also make intercession for them that are in any
transgression, that forbearance and humility may be given them, to the
end that they may yield not unto us, but unto the will of God. For so
shall the compassionate remembrance of them with God and the saints be
fruitful unto them, and perfect. Let us accept chastisement, whereat no
man ought to be vexed, dearly beloved. The admonition which we give one
to another is good and exceeding useful; for it joineth us unto the
will of God. For thus saith the holy word; The Lord hath indeed
chastened me, and hath not delivered me over unto death. For whom the
Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.
For the righteous, it is said, shall chasten me in mercy and shall
reprove me, but let not the mercy of sinners anoint my head. And again
He saith; Blessed is the man whom the Lord hath reproved, and refuse
not thou the admonition of the Almighty. For He causeth pain, and he
restoreth again: He hath smitten, and His hands have healed. Six times
shall He rescue thee from afflictions and at the seventh no evil shall
touch thee. In famine he shall deliver thee from death, and in war He
shall release thee from the arm of the sword. And from the scourge of
the tongue He shall hide thee and thou shalt not be afraid when evils
approach. Thou shalt laugh at the unrighteous and wicked, and of the
wild beasts thou shalt not be afraid. For wild beasts shall be at peace
with thee. Then shalt thou know that thy house shall be at peace: and
the abode of thy tabernacle shall not go wrong, and thou shalt know
that thy seed is many, and thy children as the plenteous herbage of the
field. And thou shalt come to the grave as ripe corn reaped in due
season, or as the heap of the threshing floor gathered together at the
right time. Ye see, dearly beloved, how great protection there is for
them that are chastened by the Master: for being a kind father He
chasteneth us to the end that we may obtain mercy through His holy

   Ye therefore that laid the foundation of the sedition, submit
yourselves unto the presbyters and receive chastisement unto
repentance, bending the knees of your heart. Learn to submit
yourselves, laying aside the arrogant and proud stubbornness of your
tongue. For it is better for you to be found little in the flock of
Christ and to have your name on God's roll, than to be had in exceeding
honor and yet be cast out from the hope of Him. For thus saith the All
virtuous Wisdom; Behold I will pour out for you a saying of My breath,
and I will teach you My word. Because I called and ye obeyed not, and I
held out words and ye heeded not, but made My councils of none effect,
and were disobedient unto My reproofs; therefore I also will laugh at
your destruction, and will rejoice over you when ruin cometh upon you,
and when confusion overtaketh you suddenly, and your overthrow is at
hand like a whirlwind, or when ye call upon Me, yet will I not here
you. Evil men shall seek me and not find me: for they hated wisdom, and
chose not the fear of the Lord, neither would they give head unto My
councils, but mocked at My reproofs. Therefore they shall eat the
fruits of their own way, and shall be filled with their own
ungodliness. For because they wronged babes, they shall be slain, and
inquisition shall destroy the ungodly. But he that heareth Me shall
dwell safely trusting in hope, and shall be quiet from all fear of all

   Let us therefore be obedient unto His most holy and glorious Name,
thereby escaping the threatenings which were spoken of old by the mouth
of Wisdom against them which disobey, that we may dwell safely,
trusting in the most holy Name of His majesty. Receive our counsel, and
ye shall have no occasion of regret. For as God liveth, and the Lord
Jesus Christ liveth, and the Holy Spirit, who are the faith and the
hope of the elect, so surely shall he, who with lowliness of mind and
instant in gentleness hath without regretfulness performed the
ordinances and commandments that are given by God, be enrolled and have
a name among the number of them that are saved through Jesus Christ,
through whom is the glory unto Him for ever and ever. Amen. 

   But if certain persons should be disobedient unto the words spoken
by Him through us, let them understand that they will entangle
themselves in no slight transgression and danger; but we shall be
guiltless of this sin. And we will ask, with instancy of prayer and
supplication, that the Creator of the universe may guard intact unto
the end the number that hath been numbered of His elect throughout the
whole world, through His beloved Son Jesus Christ, through whom He
called us from darkness to light, from ignorance to the full knowledge
of the glory of His Name. 

   [Grant unto us, Lord,] that we may set our hope on Thy Name which is
the primal source of all creation, and open the eyes of our hearts,
that we may know Thee, who alone abidest Highest in the lofty, Holy in
the holy; who layest low in the insolence of the proud, who settest the
lowly on high, and bringest the lofty low; who makest rich and makest
poor; who killest and makest alive; who alone art the Benefactor of
spirits and the God of all flesh; who lookest into the abysses, who
scanest the works of man; the Succor of them that are in peril, the
Savior of them that are in despair; The Creator and Overseer of every
spirit; who multipliest the nations upon earth, and hast chosen out
from all men those that love Thee through Jesus Christ, Thy beloved
Son, through whom Thou didst instruct us, didst sanctify us, didst
honor us. We beseech Thee, Lord and Master, to be our help and succor.
Save those among us who are in tribulation; have mercy on the lowly;
lift up the fallen; show Thyself unto the needy; heal the ungodly;
convert the wanderers of Thy people; feed the hungry; release our
prisoners; raise up the weak; comfort the fainthearted. Let all the
Gentiles know that Thou art the God alone, and Jesus Christ is Thy Son,
and we are Thy people and the sheep of Thy pasture. 

   Thou through Thine operations didst make manifest the everlasting
fabric of the world. Thou, Lord, didst create the earth. Thou that art
faithful throughout all generations, righteous in Thy judgments,
marvelous in strength and excellence, Thou that art wise in creating
and prudent in establishing that which Thou hast made, that art good in
the things which are seen and faithful with them that trust on Thee,
pitiful and compassionate, forgive us our iniquities and our
unrighteousnesses and our transgressions and shortcomings. Lay not to
our account every sin of Thy servants and Thine handmaids, but cleanse
us with the cleansing of Thy truth, and guide our steps to walk in
holiness and righteousness and singleness of heart and to do such
things as are good and well pleasing in Thy sight and in the sight of
our rulers. Yea, Lord, make Thy face to shine upon us in peace for our
good, that we may be sheltered by Thy mighty hand and delivered from
every sin by Thine uplifted arm. And deliver us from them that hate us
wrongfully. Give concord and peace to us and to all that dwell on the
earth, as Thou gavest to our fathers, when they called on Thee in faith
and truth with holiness, [that we may be saved,] while we render
obedience to Thine almighty and most excellent Name, and to our rulers
and governors upon the earth. 

   Thou, Lord and Master, hast given them the power of sovereignty
through Thine excellent and unspeakable might, that we knowing the
glory and honor which Thou hast given them may submit ourselves unto
them, in nothing resisting Thy will. Grant unto them therefore, O Lord,
health peace, concord, stability, that they may administer the
government which Thou hast given them without failure. For Thou, O
heavenly Master, King of the ages, givest to the sons of men glory and
honor and power over all things that are upon the earth. Do Thou, Lord,
direct their counsel according to that which is good and well pleasing
in Thy sight, that, administering in peace and gentleness with
Godliness the power which Thou hast given them, they may obtain Thy
favor. O Thou, who alone art able to do these things and things far
more exceeding good than these for us, we praise Thee through the High
priest and Guardian of our souls, Jesus Christ, through whom be the
glory and the majesty unto Thee both now and for all generations and
for ever and ever. Amen. 

   As touching those things which befit our religion and are most
useful for a virtuous life to such as would guide [their steps] in
holiness and righteousness, we have written fully unto you, brethren.
For concerning faith and repentance and genuine love and temperance and
sobriety and patience we have handled every argument, putting you in
remembrance, that ye ought to please Almighty God in righteousness and
truth and long suffering with holiness, laying aside malice and
pursuing concord in love and peace, being instant in gentleness; even
as our fathers, of whom we spake before, pleased Him, being lowly
minded toward their Father and God and Creator and towards all men. And
we have put you in mind of these things the more gladly, since we knew
well that we were writing to men who are faithful and highly accounted
and have diligently searched into the oracles of the teaching of God. 

   Therefore it is right for us to give heed to so great and so many
examples and to submit the neck and occupying the place of obedience to
take our side with them that are the leaders of our souls, that ceasing
from this foolish dissension we may attain unto the goal which lieth
before us in truthfulness, keeping aloof from every fault. For ye will
give us great joy and gladness, if ye render obedience unto the things
written by us through the Holy Spirit, and root out the unrighteous
anger of your jealousy, according to the entreaty which we have made
for peace and concord in this letter. And we have also sent faithful
and prudent men that have walked among us from youth unto old age
unblamably, who shall also be witnesses between you and us. And this we
have done that ye might know that we have had, and still have, every
solicitude that ye should be speedily at peace. 

   Finally may the All seeing God and Master of spirits and Lord of all
flesh, who chose the Lord Jesus Christ, and us through Him for a
peculiar people, grant unto every soul that is called after His
excellent and holy Name faith, fear, peace, patience, long-suffering,
temperance, chastity and soberness, that they may be well pleasing unto
His Name through our High priest and Guardian Jesus Christ, through
whom unto Him be glory and majesty, might and honor, both now and for
ever and ever. Amen. 

   Now send ye back speedily unto us our messengers Claudius Ephebus
and Valerius Bito, together with Fortunatus also, in peace and with
joy, to the end that they may the more quickly report the peace and
concord which is prayed for and earnestly desired by us, that we also
may the more speedily rejoice over your good order. 

   The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you and with all men in
all places who have been called by God and through Him, through whom be
glory and honor, power and greatness and eternal dominion, unto Him,
from the ages past and forever and ever. Amen.