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- Forbidden Gospels and Epistles, Volume 9, Hermas - 1/39 -


THE SUPPRESSED GOSPELS AND EPISTLES OF THE ORIGINAL NEW TESTAMENT OF JESUS THE CHRIST

AND OTHER PORTIONS OF THE ANCIENT HOLY SCRIPTURES. NOW EXTANT, ATTRIBUTED TO HIS APOSTLES, AND THEIR DISCIPLES, AND VENERATED BY THE PRIMITIVE CHRISTIAN CHURCHES DURING THE FIRST FOUR CENTURIES, BUT SINCE, AFTER VIOLENT DISPUTATIONS FORBIDDEN BY THE BISHOPS OF THE NICENE COUNCIL, IN THE REIGN OF THE EMPEROR CONSTANTINE AND OMITTED FROM THE CATHOLICS AND PROTESTANT EDITIONS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, BY ITS COMPILERS

TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL TONGUES, WITH HISTORICAL REFERENCES TO THEIR AUTHENTICITY,

BY ARCHBISHOP WAKE AND OTHER LEARNED DIVINES

THE FIRST PART OF THE BOOK OF HERMAS CALLED HIS VISION.

VISION I.

1 Against filthy and proud thoughts; 20 also the neglect of Hermas in chastising his children.

HE who had bred me up sold a certain young maid at Rome; whom when I saw many years after, I remembered her, and began to love her as a sister. It happened some time afterwards, that I saw her washing in the river. Tyber; and I reached out my hand unto her, and brought her out of the river,

2 And when I saw her I thought with myself, saying, How happy should I be if I had such a wife, both for beauty and manners. This I thought with myself; nor did I think any thing more. But not long after, as I was walking, and musing on these thoughts, I began to honour this creature of God, thinking with myself; how noble and beautiful she was.

3 And when I had walked a little, I fell asleep; and the spirit caught me away, and carried me through a certain place towards the right hand, through which no man could pass. It was a place among rocks, very steep, and unpassable for water.

4 When I was past this place, I came into a plain; and there falling down upon my knees, I began to pray unto the Lord, and to confess my sins.

5 And as I was praying, the heaven was opened, and I saw the woman which I had coveted, saluting me from heaven, and saying, Hermas, hail! and I looking upon her, answered, Lady, what dost thou do here? She answered me, I am taken up hither to accuse thee of sin before the Lord.

6 Lady, said I, wilt thou convince me? No, said she: but hear the words which I am about to speak unto thee. God who dwelleth in heaven, and hath made all things out of nothing, and hath multiplied them for his holy church's sake, is angry with thee because thou hast sinned against me.

7 And I answering said unto her, Lady, if I have sinned against thee, tell me where, or in what place, or when did I ever speak an unseemly or dishonest word unto thee?

8 Have I not always esteemed thee as a lady? Have I not always reverenced thee as a sister? Why then dost thou imagine these wicked things against me?

9 Then she, smiling upon me, said: the desire of naughtiness has risen up in thy heart. Does it not seem to thee to be an ill thing for a righteous man to have an evil desire rise up in his heart.

10 It is indeed a sin, and that a very great sin, to such a one; for a righteous man thinketh that which is righteous. And whilst he does so, and walketh uprightly, he shall have the Lord in heaven favourable unto him in all his business.

11 But as for those who think wickedly in their hearts, they take to themselves death and captivity; and especially those who love this present world, and glory in their riches, and regard not the good things that are to come; their souls wander up and down and know not where to fix.

12 Now this is the case of such as are double-minded, who trust not in the Lord, and despise and neglect their own life.

13 But do thou pray unto the Lord, and he will heal thy sins, and the sins of thy whole house, and of all his saints.

14 As soon as she had spoken these words the heaven were shut, and I remained utterly swallowed up with sadness and fear: and said within myself, if this be laid against me for sin, how can I be saved.

15 Or how should I ever be able to entreat the Lord for my many and great sins? With what words shall I beseech him to be merciful unto me?

16 As I was thinking over these things, and meditating in myself upon them, behold a chair was set over against me of the whitest wool, as bright as snow.

17 And there came an old woman in a bright garment, having a book in her hand, and sat alone, and saluted me, saying, Hermas, hail! and I being full of sorrow and weeping, answered, Hail Lady!

18 And she said unto me, Why art thou sad, Hermas, who wert wont to be patient, and modest, and always cheerful? I answered, and said to her, Lady, a reproach has been laid to my charge by an excellent woman, who tells me that I have sinned against her.

19 She replied, Far be any such thing from the servant of God. But it may be the desire of her has risen up in thy heart? For indeed such a thought maketh the servants of God guilty of sin.

20 Nor ought such a detestable thought to be in the servant of God: nor should he who is approved by the Spirit desire that which


Forbidden Gospels and Epistles, Volume 9, Hermas - 1/39

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