Brethren, we ought so to think of Jesus Christ, as of God, as of the
Judge of quick and dead. And we ought not to think mean things of our
Salvation: for when we think mean things of Him, we expect also to
receive mean things. And they that listen as concerning mean things do
wrong; and we ourselves do wrong, not knowing whence and by whom and
unto what place we were called, and how many things Jesus Christ
endured to suffer for our sakes. What recompense then shall we give
unto Him? Or what fruit worthy of His own gift to us? And how many
mercies do we owe to Him! For He bestowed the light upon us; He spake
to us, as a father to his sons; He saved us, when we were perishing.
What praise then shall we give to Him? Or what payment of recompense
for those things which we received? We who were maimed in our
understanding, and worshipped stocks and stones and gold and silver and
bronze, the works of men; and our whole life was nothing else but
death. While then we were thus wrapped in darkness and oppressed with
this thick mist in our vision, we recovered our sight, putting off by
His will the cloud wherein we were wrapped. For He had mercy on us, and
in His compassion saved us, having beheld in us much error and
perdition, even when we had no hope of salvation, save that which came
from Him. For He called us, when we were not, and from not being He
willed us to be. 

   Rejoice, thou barren that barest not. Break out and cry, thou that
travailest not; for more are the children of the desolate than of her
that hath the husband. In that He said Rejoice, thou barren that barest
not, He spake of us: for our Church was barren, before that children
were given unto her. And in that He said, Cry aloud, thou that
travailest not, He meaneth this; Let us not, like women in travail,
grow weary of offering up our prayers with simplicity to God. Again, in
that He said, For the children of the desolate are more than of her
that hath the husband, He so spake, because our people seemed desolate
and forsaken of God, whereas now, having believed, we have become more
than those who seemed to have God. Again another scripture saith, I
came not to call the righteous, but sinners. He meaneth this; that it
is right to save them that are perishing. For this indeed is a great
and marvelous work, to establish, not those things which stand, but
those which are falling. So also Christ willed to save the things which
were perishing And He saved many, coming and calling us when we were
even now perishing. 

   Seeing then that He bestowed so great mercy on us; first of all,
that we, who are living, do not sacrifice to these dead gods, neither
worship them, but through Him have known the Father of truth. What else
is this knowledge to Himward, but not to deny Him through whom we have
known Him? Yea, He Himself saith, Whoso confesseth Me, Him will I
confess before the Father. This then is our reward, if verily we shall
confess Him through whom we were saved. But wherein do we confess Him?
When we do that which He saith and are not disobedient unto His
commandments, and not only honor Him with our lips, but with our whole
heart and with our whole mind. Now He saith also in Isaiah, This people
honoreth me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. 

   Let us therefore not only call Him Lord, for this will not save us:
for He saith, Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, shall be saved,
but he that doeth righteousness. So then, brethren, let us confess Him
in our works, by loving one another, by not committing adultery nor
speaking evil one against another nor envying, but being temperate,
merciful, kindly. And we ought to have fellow-feeling one with another
and not to be covetous. By these works let us confess Him, and not by
the contrary. And we ought not rather to fear men but God. For this
cause, if ye do these things, the Lord said, Though ye be gathered
together with Me in My bosom, and do not My commandments, I will cast
you away and will say unto you, Depart from Me, I know you not whence
ye are, ye workers of iniquity. 

   Wherefore, brethren, let us forsake our sojourn in this world and do
the will of Him that called us, and let us not be afraid to depart out
of this world. For the Lord saith, Ye shall be as lambs in the midst of
wolves. But Peter answered and said unto Him, What then, if the wolves
should tear the lambs? Jesus said unto Peter, Let not the lambs fear
the wolves after they are dead; and ye also, fear ye not them that kill
you and are not able to do anything to you; but fear Him that after ye
are dead hath power over soul and body, to cast them into the Gehenna
of fire. And ye know, brethren, that the sojourn of this flesh in this
world is mean and for a short time, but the promise of Christ is great
and marvelous, even the rest of the kingdom that shall be and of life
eternal. What then can we do to obtain them, but walk in holiness and
righteousness, and consider these worldly things as alien to us, and
not desire them? For when we desire to obtain these things we fall away
from the righteous path. 

   But the Lord saith, No servant can serve two masters. If we desire
to serve both God and mammon, it is unprofitable for us: For what
advantage is it, if a man gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?
Now this age and the future are two enemies. The one speaketh of
adultery and defilement and avarice and deceit, but the other biddeth
farewell to these. We cannot therefore be friends of the two, but must
bid farewell to the one and hold companionship with the other. Let us
consider that it is better to hate the things which are here, because
they are mean and for a short time and perishable, and to love the
things which are there, for they are good and imperishable. For, if we
do the will of Christ, we shall find rest; but if otherwise, then
nothing shall deliver us from eternal punishment, if we should disobey
His commandments. And the scripture also saith in Ezekiel, Though Noah
and Job and Daniel should rise up, they shall not deliver their
children in the captivity. But if even such righteous men as these
cannot by their righteous deeds deliver their children, with what
confidence shall we, if we keep not our baptism pure and undefiled,
enter into the kingdom of God? Or who shall be our advocate, unless we
be found having holy and righteous works? 

   So then, my brethren, let us contend, knowing that the contest is
nigh at hand, and that, while many resort to the corruptible contests,
yet not all are crowned, but only they that have toiled hard and
contended bravely. Let us then contend that we all may be crowned.
Wherefore let us run in the straight course, the incorruptible contest.
And let us resort to it in throngs and contend, that we may also be
crowned. And if we cannot all be crowned, let us at least come near to
the crown. We ought to know that he which contendeth in the corruptible
contest, if he be found dealing corruptly with it, is first flogged.
and then removed and driven out of the race course. What think ye? What
shall be done to him that hath dealt corruptly with the contest of
incorruption? For as concerning them that have not kept the seal, He
saith, Their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched,
and they shall be for a spectacle unto all flesh. 

   While we are on earth then, let us repent: for we are clay under the
craftsman's hand. For in like manner as the potter, if he be making a
vessel, and it get twisted or crushed in his hands, reshapeth it again;
but if he have once put it into the fiery oven, he shall no longer mend
it: so also let us, while we are in this world, repent with our whole
heart of the evil things which we have done in the flesh, that we may
be saved by the Lord, while we have yet time for repentance. For after
that we have departed out of the world, we can no more make confession
there, or repent any more. Wherefore, brethren, if we shall have done
the will of the Father and kept the flesh pure and guarded the
commandments of the Lord, we shall receive life eternal. For the Lord
saith in the Gospel, If ye kept not that which is little, who shall
give unto you that which is great? For I say unto you that he which is
faithful in the least, is also faithful in much. So then He meaneth
this, Keep the flesh pure and the seal unstained, to the end that we
may receive life. 

   And let not any one of you say that this flesh is not judged neither
riseth again. Understand ye. In what were ye saved? In what did ye
recover your sight? if ye were not in this flesh. We ought therefore to
guard the flesh as a temple of God: for in like manner as ye were
called in the flesh, ye shall come also in the flesh. If Christ the
Lord who saved us, being first spirit, then became flesh, and so called
us, in like manner also shall we in this flesh receive our reward. Let
us therefore love one another, that we all may come unto the kingdom of
God. While we have time to be healed, let us place ourselves in the
hands of God the physician, giving Him a recompense. What recompense?
Repentance from a sincere heart. For He discerneth all things
beforehand and knoweth what is in our heart. Let us therefore give unto
Him eternal praise, not from our lips only, but also from our heart,
that He may receive us as sons. For the Lord also said, These are my
brethren, which do the will of My Father. 

   Wherefore, my brethren, let us do the will of the Father which
called us, that we may live; and let us the rather pursue virtue, but
forsake vice as the forerunner of our sins, and let us flee from
ungodliness, lest evils overtake us. For if we be diligent in doing
good, peace will pursue us. For this cause is a man unable to *attain
happiness*, seeing that they call in the fears of men, preferring
rather the enjoyment which is here than the promise which is to come.
For they know not how great torment the enjoyment which is here
bringeth, and what delight the promise which is to come bringeth. And
if verily they were doing these things by themselves alone, it had been
tolerable: but now they continue teaching evil to innocent souls, not
knowing that they shall have their condemnation doubled, both
themselves and their hearers. 

   Let us therefore serve God in a pure heart, and we shall be
righteous; but if we serve Him not, because we believe not the promise
of God, we shall be wretched. For the word of prophecy also saith:
Wretched are the double-minded, that doubt in their heart and say,
These things we heard of old in the days of our fathers also, yet we
have waited day after day and seen none of them. Ye fools! compare
yourselves unto a tree; take a vine. First it sheds its leaves, then a
shoot cometh, after this a sour berry, then a full ripe grape. So
likewise My people had tumults and afflictions: but afterward they
shall receive good things. Wherefore, my brethren, let us not be
double-minded but endure patiently in hope, that we may also obtain our
reward. For faithful is He that promised to pay to each man the
recompense of his works. If therefore we shalt have wrought
righteousness in the sight of God, we shalt enter into His kingdom and
shall receive the promises which ear hath not heard nor eye seen, nor
eye seen, neither hath it entered into the heart of man. 

   Let us therefore await the kingdom of God betimes in love and
righteousness, since we know not the day of God's appearing. For the
Lord Himself, being asked by a certain person when his kingdom would
come, said, When the two shall be one, and the outside as the inside,
and the male with the female, neither male or female. Now the two are
one, when we speak truth among ourselves, and in two bodies there shall
be one soul without dissimulation. And by the outside as the inside He
meaneth this: by the inside he meaneth the soul and by the outside the
body. Therefore in like manner as they body appeareth, so also let thy
soul be manifest by its good works. And by the male with the female,
neither male nor female, he meaneth this; that a brother seeing a
sister should have no thought of her as a female, and that a sister
seeing a brother should not have any thought of him as a male. These
things if ye do, saith He, the kingdom of my father shall come. 

   Therefore, brethren, let us repent forthwith. Let us be sober unto
that which is good: for we are full of much folly and wickedness. Let
us wipe away from us our former sins, and let us not be found to be men
pleasers. Neither let us desire to please one another only, but also
those men that are without, by our righteousness, that the Name be not
blasphemed by reason of us. For the Lord saith, Every way My Name is
blasphemed among all the Gentiles; and again, Woe unto him by reason of
whom My Name is blasphemed. Wherein is it blasphemed? In that ye do not
the things which I desire. For the Gentiles, when they hear from our
mouths the oracles of God, marvel at them for their beauty and
greatness; then, when they discover that our works are not worthy of
the words which we speak, forthwith they betake themselves to
blasphemy, saying that it is an idle story and a delusion. For when
they here from us that God saith, It is no thank unto you, if ye love
them that love you, but this is thank unto you, if ye love your enemies
and them that hate you; when they hear these things, I say, they marvel
at their exceeding goodness; but when they see that we not only do not
love us, they laugh us to scorn, and the Name is blasphemed. 

   Wherefore, brethren, if we do the will of God our Father, we shall
be of the first Church, which is spiritual, which was created before
the sun and the moon; but if we do not the will of the Lord, we shall
be of the scripture that saith, My house was made a den of robbers. So
therefore let us choose rather to be of the Church of life, that we may
be saved. And I do not suppose ye are ignorant that the living Church
is the body of Christ: for the scripture saith, God made man, male and
female. The male is Christ and the female is the Church. And the Books
and the Apostles plainly declare that the Church existeth not now for
the first time, but hath been from the beginning: for she was
spiritual, as our Jesus also was spiritual, but was manifested in the
last days that He might save us. Now the Church, being spiritual was
manifested in the flesh of Christ, thereby showing us that if any of us
guard her in the flesh and defile her not, he shall receive her again
in the Holy Spirit: for this flesh is the counterpart and copy of the
spirit. No man therefore, when he hath defiled the copy, shall receive
the original for his portion. This therefore is what He meaneth,
brethren; Guard ye the flesh, that ye may partake of the spirit. But if
we say that the flesh is the Church and the spirit is Christ, then he
that hath dealt wantonly with the flesh hath dealt wantonly with the
Church. Such and one therefore shall not partake of the spirit, which
is Christ. So excellent is the life and immortality which this flesh
can receive as its portion, if the Holy Spirit be joined to it. No man
can declare or tell those things which the Lord hath prepared for His

   Now I do not think that I have given any mean council respecting
continence, and whosoever performeth it shall not repent thereof, but
shall save both himself and me his councilor. For it is no mean reward
to convert a wondering and perishing soul, that it may be saved. For
this is the recompense which we are able to pay to God who created us,
if he that speaketh and heareth both speak and hear with faith and
love. Let is therefore abide in the things which we believed, in
righteousness and holiness, that we may with boldness as of God who
saith, Whiles thou art still speaking I will say, Behold, I am here.
For this word is the token of a great promise: for the Lord saith of
Himself that He is more ready to give than he that asketh to ask.
Seeing then that we are partakers of so great kindness, let us not
grudge ourselves the obtaining of so many good things. For in
proportion as the pleasure is great which these words bring to them
that have performed them, so also is the condemnation great which they
bring to them that have been disobedient. 

   Therefore, brethren, since we have found no small opportunity for
repentance, seeing that we have time, let us turn again unto God that
called us, while we have still One that receiveth us. For if we bid
farewell to these enjoyments and conquer our soul in refusing to
fulfill its evil lusts, we shall be partakers of the mercy of Jesus.
But ye know that the day of judgment cometh even now as a burning oven,
and the powers of the heavens shall melt, and all the earth as lead
melting on the fire, and then shall appear the secret and open works of
men. Almsgiving therefore is a good thing, even as repentance from sin.
Fasting is better than prayer, but almsgiving better than both. And
love covereth a multitude of sins, but prayer out of a good conscience
delivereth from death. Blessed is every man that is found full of
these. For almsgiving lifteth off the burden of sin. 

   Let us therefore repent with our whole heart, lest any of us perish
by the way. For if we have received commands, that we should make this
our business, to tear men away from idols and to instruct them, how
much more is it wrong that a soul which knoweth God already should
perish! Therefore let us assist one another, that we may also lead the
weak upward as touching that which is good, to the end that we all may
be saved: and let us convert and admonish one another. And let us not
think to give heed and believe now only, while we have departed home,
let us remember the commandments of the Lord, and not suffer ourselves
to be dragged off the other way by our worldly lusts; but coming hither
more frequently, let us strive to go forward in the commandments of the
Lord, that we all having the same mind may be gathered together unto
life. For the Lord said, I come to gather together all the nations,
tribes, and languages. Herein He speaketh of the day of His appearing,
when He shall come and redeem us, each man according to his works. And
the unbelievers shall see His glory and His might: and they shall be
amazed when they see the kingdom of the world given to Jesus, saying,
Woe unto us, for Thou wast, and we knew it not, and believed not; and
we obeyed not the presbyters when they told us of our salvation. And
Their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched, and
they shall be for a spectacle unto all flesh. He speaketh of that day
of judgment, when men shall see those among us that live ungodly lives
and dealt falsely with the commandments of Jesus Christ. But the
righteous, done good and endured torments and hated pleasures of the
soul, when they shall behold them that have done amiss and denied Jesus
by their words or by their deeds, how that they are punished with
grievous torments in unquenchable fire, shall give glory to God,
saying, There will be hope for him that hath served God with his whole

   Therefore let us also be found among those that give thanks, among
those that have served God, and not among the ungodly that are judged.
For I myself too, being an utter sinner and not yet escaped from
temptation, but being still amidst the engines of the devil, do my
diligence to follow after righteousness, that I may prevail so far at
least as to come near unto it, while I fear the judgment to come.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, after the God of truth hath been
heard, I read unto you an exhortation to the end that ye may give heed
to the things which are written, for that ye may save both yourselves
and him that readeth in the midst of you. For I ask of you as a reward
that ye repent with your whole heart, and give salvation and life to
yourselves. For doing this we shall set a goal for all the young who
desire to toil in the study of piety and of the goodness of God. And
let is not be displeased and vexed, fools that we are, whensoever any
one admonish us and turneth us aside from unrighteousness unto
righteousness. For sometimes while we do evil things, we perceive it
not by reason of the double-mindedness and unbelief which is in our
breasts, and we are darkened in our understanding by our vain lusts.
Let us therefore practice righteousness that we may be saved unto the
end. Blessed are they that obey these ordinances. Though they may
endure affliction for a short time in the world, they will gather the
immortal fruit of the resurrection. Therefore let not the godly be
grieved, if he be miserable in the times that now are: a blessed time
awaiteth him. He shall live again in heaven with our fathers, and shall
have rejoicing throughout a sorrowless eternity. 

   Neither suffer ye this again to trouble your mind, that we see the
unrighteous possessing wealth, and the servants of God straitened. Let
us then have faith, brothers and sisters. We are trained by the present
life, that we may be crowned with the future. No righteous man hath
reaped fruit quickly but waiteth for it. For if God had paid the
recompense of the righteous speedily, then straightway we should have
been training ourselves in merchandise, and not in godliness; for we
should seem to be righteous, though we were pursuing not that which is
godly, but which is gainful. And for this cause Divine judgment
overtaketh a spirit that is not just, and loadeth it with chains. 

   To the only God invisible, the Father of truth, who sent forth unto
us the Savior and Prince of immortality, through whom also He made
manifest unto us the truth and the heavenly life, to Him be the glory
for ever and ever. Amen.