Biblical stupidity 2683

There are 7427 blatant absurdities in the bible. Many biblical books were deemed so stupid that 1800 imbeciles decided to ban them from the approved bible, in 325AD. Next comes The Third Book of HERMAS, which is called his SIMILITUDES. (Sit tight, hang on, we are about to discover some major BS.)

[My note: Please pay close attention to verses 140 to 145. Not the bible’s first rodeo into racism.]

The greatest mysteries of the militant and triumphant church which is to be built.

AFTER I had written the Commands and Similitudes of the Shepherd, the Angel of Repentance; he came unto me, and said to me, I will shew thee all those things which the Spirit spake with thee under the figure of the Church. For that Spirit is the Son of God.
2 And because thou wert weak in body, it was not declared unto thee by the angel, until thou wert strengthened by the Spirit, and increased in force, that thou mightest also see the angel.
3 For then indeed the building of the tower was very well and gloriously shewn unto thee by the church; nevertheless thou sawest all things shewn unto thee as it were by a virgin.
4 But now thou art enlightened by the angel, but yet by the same Spirit. But thou must consider all things diligently; for therefore am I sent into thy house by that venerable messenger, that when thou shalt have seen all things powerfully, thou mayest not be afraid as before.
5 And he led me to the height of a mountain in Arcadia, and we sat upon its top. And he showed me a great plain, and about it twelve mountains in different figures.
6 The first was black as soot. The second was smooth, without herbs. The third was full of thorns and thistles. The fourth had herbs half dried; of which the upper part was green, but that next the root was dry; and some of the herbs, when the sun grew hot, were dry.
7 The fifth mountain was very rugged; but yet had green herbs. The sixth mountain was full of clefts, some lesser, and some greater; and in these clefts grew grass, not flourishing, but which seemed to be withering
8 The seventh mountain had delightful pasture, and was wholly fruitful: and all kinds of cattle, and of the birds of heaven, fed upon it; and the more they fed of it, the more and better did the grass grow.
9 The eighth mountain was full of fountains, and from those fountains were watered all kinds of the creatures of God. The ninth mountain had no water at all, but was wholly destitute of it; and nourished deadly serpents, and destructive to men.
10 The tenth mountain was full of tall trees, and altogether shady: and under the shade of them lay cattle resting and chewing the cud.
11 The eleventh mountain was full of the thickest trees; and those trees seemed to be loaded with several sorts of fruits; that whosoever saw them could not choose but desire to eat of their fruit.
12 The twelfth mountain was altogether white, and of a most pleasant aspect, and itself gave a most excellent beauty to itself.
13 In the middle of the plain he showed me a huge white rock, which rose out of the plain, and the rock was higher than those mountains, and was square; so that it seemed capable of supporting the whole world.
14 It looked to me to be old, yet it had in it a new gate, which seemed to have been newly hewn out in it. Now that gate was bright beyond the sun itself; insomuch, that I greatly admired at its light.
15 About the gate stood twelve virgins; of which four that stood at the corners of the gate, seemed to me to be the chiefest, although the rest were also of worth: and they stood at the four parts of the gate.
16 It added also to the grace of those virgins, that they stood in pairs, clothed with linen garments, and decently girded, their right arms being at liberty, as if they were about to lift up some burthen; for so they were adorned, and were exceeding cheerful and ready.
17 When I saw this, I wondered with myself to see such great and noble things. And again I admired upon the account of those virgins, that they were so handsome and delicate; and stood with such firmness and constancy, as if they would carry the whole heaven.
18 And as I was thinking thus within myself, the shepherd said unto me: What thmkest thou within thyself, and art disquieted, and fillest thyself with care?
19 Do not seem to consider, as if thou wert wise, what thou doest not understand, but pray unto the Lord, that thou mayest have ability to understand it: what is to come thou canst not understand, but thou seest that which is before thee.
20 Be not therefore disquieted at those things which thou canst not see; but get the understanding of those which thou seest.
21 Forbear to be curious; and I will shew thee all things that I ought to declare unto thee; but first consider what yet remains.
22 And when he had said this unto me I looked up, and behold I saw six tall and venerable men coming; their countenances were all alike; and they called a certain multitude of men; and they who came at their call were also tall and stout.
23 And those six commanded them to build a certain tower over that gate. And immediately there began to be a great noise of those men running here and there about the gate, who were come together to build the tower.
24 But those virgins which stood about the gate perceived that the building of the tower was to be hastened by them. And they stretched out their hands, as if they were to receive somewhat from them to do.
25 Then those six men commanded, that they should lift up stones out of a certain deep place, and prepare them for the building of the tower. And there were lifted up ten white stones, square, and 1 not cut round.
26 Then those six men called the ten virgins to them, and commanded them to carry all the stones that were to be put into the building and having carried them through the gate to deliver them to those that were about to build the tower.
27 Immediately the virgins began all of them together to lift up those stones, that were before taken out of the deep.
28 And they who also stood about the gate did carry stones in such a manner, that those stones which seemed to be the strongest were laid at the corners, the rest were put into the sides.
29 And thus they carried all the stones, and bringing them through the gate delivered them to the builders, as they had been commanded: who receiving them at their hands, built with them.
30 But this building was made upon that great rock, and over the gate; and by these the whole tower was supported. But the building of the ten stones filled the whole gate, which began to be made for the foundation of that tower.
31 After those ten stones did five and twenty others rise up out of the deep; and these were placed in the building of the same tower; being lifted up by those virgins, as the others had been before.
32 After these did five and thirty others rise up; and these were also in like manner fitted into the same work. Then forty other stones were brought up, and all these were added unto the building of that tower.
33 So there began to be four ranks in the foundation of that tower; and the stones ceased to rise out of the deep; and they also which built rested a little.
34 Again those six men commanded the multitude, that they should bring stones out of those twelve mountains to the building of the same tower.
35 So they cut out of all the mountains stones of divers colours, and brought them and gave them to the virgins; which when they had received they carried them, and delivered them into the building of the tower,
36 In which when they were built they became white, and different from what they were before; for they were all alike, and did change their former colours. And some were reached up by the men themselves, which when they came into the building, continued such as they were put in.
37 These neither became white, nor different from what they were before; because they were not carried by the virgins through the gate. Wherefore these stones were disagreeable in the building: which, when those six men perceived, they commanded them to be removed, and put again in the place from which they were brought.
38 And they said to those who brought those stones; Do not ye reach up to us any stones for this building, but lay them down by the tower, and these virgins may carry them and reach them to us.
39 For unless they shall be carried by these virgins through this gate, they cannot change their colours; therefore do not labour in vain.
40 So the building that day was done, howbeit the tower was not finished; for it was afterwards to be built, therefore now also there was some delay made of it.
41 And these six men commanded those that built to depart, and as it were to rest for some time; but they ordered those virgins that they should not depart from the tower; now they seemed to me to be left for the guarding of it.
42 When all were departed, I said unto that shepherd; Sir, why is not the building of the tower finished? Because it cannot, said he, be finished until its Lord comes, and approves of the building; that if he shall find any stones in it that are not good they may be changed; for this tower is built according to his will.
43 Sir, said I, I would know what the building of this tower signifies; as also I would be informed concerning this rock, and this gate.
44 And concerning the mountains, and the virgins, and the stones that did rise out of the deep, and were not cut, but put into the building just as they came forth; and why the ten stones were first laid in the foundation; then the twenty-five; then thirty-five; then forty?
45 Also concerning these stones that were put into the building, and again taken out, and carried back into their place? Fulfil, I pray, the desire of my soul as to all these things and manifest all unto me.
46 And he said unto me; If thou shalt not be dull, thou shalt know all, and shalt see all the other things that are about to happen in this tower; and shalt understand diligently all these similitudes.
47 And after a few days we came into the same place where we had sat before; and he said unto me, Let us go unto the tower; for the Lord of it will come and examine it.
48 So we came thither, and found none but those virgins there. And he asked them whether the Lord of that tower was come thither? And they replied, that he would be there presently to examine the building.
49 After a very little while I saw a great multitude of men coming, and in the middle of them a man so tall, that he surpassed the tower in height.
50 About him were those six, who before commanded in the building, and all the rest of those who had built that tower, and many others of great dignity: and the virgins that kept the tower ran to meet him, and kissed him, and began to walk near unto him.
51 But he examined the building with so much care that he handled every stone; and struck every one with a rod which he held in his hand:
52 Of which some being so struck turned black as soot; others were rough; some looked as if they had cracks in them; others seemed maimed: some neither black nor white; some looked sharp, and agreed not with the other stones, and others were full of spots.
53 These were the several kinds of those stones which were not found proper in the building; all which the Lord commanded to be taken out of the tower, and laid near it, and other stones to be brought and put in their places.
54 And they that built, asked him from which of the mountains he would have stones brought to put in the place of those that were laid aside. But he forbad them to bring any from the mountains, and commanded that they should take out of a certain field that was near.
55 So they digged in the field, and found many bright square stones, and some also that were round. Howbeit, all that were found in that field were taken away, and carried through the gate by those virgins; and those of them that were square were fitted and put into the places of those that were pulled out.
56 But the round ones were not put into the building, because they were hard, and it would have required too much time to cut them; but they were placed about the tower, as if they should hereafter be cut square, and put into the building; for they were very white.
57 When he who was chief in dignity, and lord of the whole tower saw this, he called to him the shepherd that was with me and gave him the stones that were rejected and laid about the tower and said unto him; cleanse these stones with all care, and fit them into the building of the tower, that they may agree with the rest; but those that will not suit with the rest, cast away afar off from the tower.
58 When he had thus commanded him, he departed, with all those that came with him to the tower: but those virgins still stood about the tower to keep it.
59 And I said unto that shepherd, How can these stones, seeing they have been rejected, return into the building of this tower? He replied; I will cut off the greatest part front these stones, and will add them to the building, and they will agree with the rest.
60 And I said, Sir, how will they be able to fill the same place, when they shall be so much cut away? He answered; They that shall be found too little shall be put into the middle of the building, and the greater shall be placed without, and keep them in.
61 When he had said thus unto me, he added; Let us go, and after three days we will return, and I will put these stones, being cleansed, into the tower.
62 For all these that are about the tower must be cleansed, lest the master of the house chance to come upon the sudden, and find those which are about the tower unclean; and be so exasperated, that these stones should never be put into the building of this tower, and I shall be looked upon to have been unmindful of my master’s commands.
63 When therefore we came after three days to the tower, he said unto me; Let us examine all these stones, and let us see which of them may go into the building. I answered, Sir, let us see.
64 And first of all we begun to consider those which had been black; for they were found just such as they were when they were pulled out of the tower: wherefore he commanded them to be removed from the tower and put by themselves.
65 Then he examined those which had been rough; and commanded many of those to be cut round, and to be fitted by the virgins into the building of the tower; so they took them, and fitted them into the middle of the building; and he commanded the rest to be laid by with the black ones, for they also were become black.
66 Next he considered those which were full of cracks, and many of those also he ordered to be pared away, and so to be added to the rest of the building by the same virgins.
67 These were placed without because they were found entire; but the residue through the multitude of their cracks could not be reformed, and therefore were cast away from the building of the tower.
68 Then he considered those that had been maimed; many of these had cracks, and were become black; others were large clefts; these he commanded to be placed with those that were rejected.
69 But the rest being cleansed and reformed, he commanded to be put in the building. These therefore those virgins took up, and fitted into the middle of the building, because they were but weak.
70 After these he examined those which were found half white and half black; and many of those were now black; these also he ordered to be laid among those that were cast away.
71 The rest were found altogether white; those were taken up by the virgins, and fitted into the same tower: and these were put in the outside, because they were found entire; that so they might keep in those that were placed in the middle, for nothing was cut off from them.
72 Next he looked upon those which had been hard and sharp; but few of these were made use of, because they could not be cut, for they were found very hard: but the rest were formed, and fitted by the virgins into the middle of the building, because they were more weak.
73 Then he considered those which had spots; of these a few were found black, and these were carried to their fellows. The rest were white and entire; and they were fitted by the virgins into the building, and placed in the outside, by reason of their strength.
74 After this he came to consider those stones which were white and round: and he said unto me, What shall we do with these stones? I answered, Sir, I cannot tell.
75 He replied, Canst thou think of nothing then for these? I answered, Sir, I understand not this art; neither am I a stone-cutter, nor can I tell any thing.
76 And he said, seest thou not that they are very round? Now to make them square, I must cut off a great deal from them; howbeit, it is necessary that some of these should go into the building of the tower.
77 I answered; If it be necessary, why do you perplex yourself, and not rather choose, if you have any choice among them, and fit them into the building.
78 Upon this he chose out the largest and brightest, and squared them; which when he had done the virgins took them up, and placed them in the outside of the building.
79 And die rest that remained were carried back into the same field from which they were taken; howbeit, they were not cast away; because, said he, there is not yet a little wanting to this tower, which is to be built; and perhaps the Lord will have these stones fitted into this building, because they are exceeding white.
80 Then were there called twelve very stately women, clothed with a black garment, girded, and their shoulders free, and their hair loose. These seemed to me to be country women.
81 And the shepherd commanded them to take up those stones which were cast out of the building, and carry them back to the mountains out of which they were taken.
82 And they took them all up joyfully, and carried them back to their places from whence they had been taken.
83 When not one stone remained about the tower, he said unto me, Let us go about this tower, and see whether any thing be wanting to it.
84 We began therefore to go round about it; and when he saw that it was handsomely built, he began to be very glad; for it was so beautifully framed, that any one that had seen it must have been in love with the building:
85 For it seemed to be all but one stone, nor did a joint anywhere appear; but it looked as if it had all been cut out of one rock.
86 And when I diligently considered what a tower it was, I was extremely pleased: and he said unto me, Bring hither some lime and little shells, that I may fill up the spaces of those stones that were taken out of the building, and put in again; for all things about the tower must be made even.
87 And I did as he commanded me, and he said unto me, Be ready to help me, and this work will quickly be finished.
88 He therefore filled up the spaces of those stones, and commanded the place about the tower to be cleansed.
89 Then those virgins took besoms, and cleansed all the place around and took away all the rubbish, and threw water on; which being done, the place became delightful, and the tower beauteous.
90 Then he said unto me, All is now clean: if the Lord should come to finish the tower, he will find nothing whereby to complain of us.
91 When he had said this he would have departed. But I laid hold on his bag, and began to entreat him for the Lord’s sake, that he would explain to me all things that he had shown me.
92 He said unto me, I have at present a little business; but I will suddenly explain all things unto thee. Tarry here for me till I come.
93 I said unto him, Sir, what shall I do here alone? He answered, Thou art not alone, seeing all these virgins are with thee.
94 I said, Sir, deliver me then unto them. Then he called them and said unto them, I commend this man unto you until I shall come.
95 So I remained with those virgins: now they were cheerful and courteous unto me; especially the four, which seemed to be the chiefest among them.
96 Then those virgins said unto me, that shepherd will not return hither to day. I said unto them, What then shall I do? They answered, Tarry for him till the evening, if perhaps he may come and speak with thee; but if not, yet thou shalt continue with us till he does coma.
97 I said unto them, I will tarry for him till evening; but if be comes not by that time, I will go home, and return hither again the next morning.
98 They answered me, Thou art delivered unto us, thou mayest not depart from us. I said, Where shall I tarry?
99 They replied, Thou shalt sleep with us as a brother, not as a husband: for thou art our brother, and we are ready from henceforth to dwell with thee; for thou art very dear to us.
100 Howbeit I was ashamed to continue with them. But she that seemed to be the chiefest amongst them, embraced me, and began to kiss me. And the rest when they saw that I was kissed by her, began also to kiss me as a brother; and led me about the tower, and played with me.
101 Some of them also sung psalms, others made up the chorus with them. But I walked about the tower with them, rejoicing silently, and seeming to myself to be grown young again.
102 When the evening came on, I would forthwith have gone home, but they withheld me, and suffered me not to depart. Wherefore I continued with them that night near the same tower.
103 So they spread their linen garments upon the ground; and placed me in the middle, nor did they anything else, only they prayed.
104 I also prayed with them without ceasing, nor less than they. Who when they saw me pray in that manner, rejoiced greatly; and I continued there with them till the next day.
105 And when we had worshipped God, then the shepherd came and said unto them: You have done no injury to this man. They answered, Ask him. I said unto him, Sir, I have received a great deal of satisfaction in that have remained with them.
106 And he said unto me, How thou sup? I answered, Sir, I feasted the whole night upon the words of the Lord. They received thee well then, said he; I said, Sir, very well.
107 He answered, Wilt thou now learn what thou didst desire? I replied, Sir, I will: and first I pray thee that thou shouldest shew me all things in the order that I asked them.
108 He answered, I will do all as thou wouldst have me, nor will I hide anything from thee.
109 First of all, Sir, said I, tell me, what this rock, and this gate denote? Hearken, said he; this rock, and this gate, are the Son of God. I replied, Sir, how can that be; seeing the rock is old, but the gate new.
110 Hear, said he, O foolish man! and understand. The Son of God is indeed more ancient than any creature; insomuch that he was in council with his Father at the creation of all things.
111 But the gate is therefore new, because he appeared in the last days in the fulness of time; that they who shall attain unto salvation, may by it enter into the kingdom of God.
112 You have seen, said he, those stones which were carried through the gate, how they were placed in the building of the tower; but that those which were not carried through the gate, were sent away into their own places?
113 I answered, Sir, I saw it. Thus, said he, no man shall enter into the kingdom of God, but he who shall take upon him the name of the Son of God.
114 For if you would enter into any city, and that city should be encompassed with a wall, and had only one gate, could you not enter into that city except by that gate?
115 I answered, Sir, how could I do otherwise? As therefore, said he, there would be no other way of entering into that city but by its gate, so neither can any one enter into the kingdom of God, but only by the name of his Son, who is most dear unto him.
116 And he said unto me, Didst thou see the multitude of those that built that tower? Sir, said I, I saw it. He answered, All those are the angels, venerable in their dignity.
117 With those is the Lord encompassed as with a wall: but the gate is the Son of God, who is the only way of coming unto God. For no man shall go to God, but by his Son.
118 Thou sawest also, said he, the six men, and in the middle of them that venerable great man, who walked about the tower, and rejected the stones out of the tower?
119 Sir, said I, I saw them. He answered, that tall man was the Son of God: and those six were his angels of most eminent dignity, which stand about him on the right hand and on the left.
120 Of these excellent angels none comes in unto God without him. He added, Whosoever therefore shall not take upon him his name, he shall not enter into the kingdom of God.
121 Then I said, What is this tower? This, said he, is the church. And what, Sir, are these virgins? He said unto me, These are the holy spirits, for no man can enter into the kingdom of God, except these clothe him with their garment.
122 For it will avail thee nothing to take up the name of the Son of God, unless thou shalt also receive their garment from them. For these virgins are the powers of the Son of God. So shall a man in vain bear his name, unless he shall be also endued with his powers.
123 And he said unto me, sawest thou those stones that were cast away? They bore indeed the name, but put not on their garment. I said, Sir, what is their garment? Their very names, said he, are their garment.
124 Therefore whosoever beareth the name of the Son of God, ought to bear their names also; for the Son of God also himself beareth their names.
125 As for those stones, continued he, which being delivered by their hands, thou sawest remain in the building, they were clothed with their power; for which cause thou seest the whole tower of the same colour with the rock, and made as it were of one stone.
126 So also those who have believed in God by his Son, have put on his spirit. Behold there shall be one spirit, and one body, and one colour of their garments; and all they shall attain this, who shall bear the names of these virgins.
127 And I said, Sir, why then were those stones cast away which were rejected, seeing they also were carried through the gate, and delivered by the hands of these virgins into the building of this tower?
128 Seeing, said he, thou takest care to inquire diligently into all things, hear also concerning those stones which were rejected. All these received the name of the Son of God, and with that the power of these virgins.
129 Having therefore received these spirits, they were perfected, and brought into the number of the servants of God; and they began to be one body, and to have one garment, for they were endued with the same righteousness, which they alike exercised.
130 But after that they be held those women which thou sawest clothed with a black garment, with their shoulders at liberty and their hair loose; they fixed their desires upon them, being tempted with their beauty; and were clothed with their power, and cast off the clothing of the virgins:
131 Therefore were they cast off from the house of God, and delivered to those women. But they that were not corrupted with their beauty, remained in the house of God. This, said he, is the signification of those stones which were rejected.
132 And I said, Sir, what if any of these men shall repent, and cast away their desire of those women, and be converted, and return to these virgins, and put on again their virtue; shall they not enter into the house of God?
133 They shall enter, said he, if they shall lay aside all the works of those women, and shall resume the power of these virgins, and shall walk in their works.
134 And for this cause there is a stop in the building, that if they shall repent, they may be added to the building of this tower; but if they shall not repent, that others may be built in their places, and so they may be utterly cast away.
135 For all these things I gave thanks unto the Lord, that being moved with mercy towards all those upon whom his name is called, he sent to us the angel of repentance to preside over us who have sinned against him; and that he has refreshed our spirits which were almost gone, and who had no hope of salvation, but are now refreshed to the renewal of life.
136 Then I said, Shew me now, Sir, why this tower is not built upon the ground, but upon a rock, and upon the gate? He replied, thou art foolish, and without understanding, therefore thou asketh this.
137 And I said, Sir, I must needs ask all things of you, because I understand nothing at all. For all your answers are great and excellent; and which a man can hardly understand.
138 Hear, said he: The name of the Son of God is great and without bounds, and the whole world is supported by it. If therefore, said I, every creature of God be sustained by his Son, why should he not support those also who have been invited by him, and who carry his name, and walk in his commandments?
139 Seest thou not, said he, that he doth support them, who with all their heart bear his’ name? He therefore is their foundation, and gladly supports those who do not deny his name, but willingly bear it.
140 And I said: Sir, tell me the names of these virgins; and of those women that were clothed with the black garment.
141 Hear, said he, the names of those virgins which are the more powerful, and stand at the corners of the gate. These are their names:
142 The first is called Faith; the second Continence; the third, Power; the fourth, Patience; the rest which stand beneath these are, Simplicity, Innocence, Chastity, Cheerfulness, Truth, Understanding, Concord, Charity.
143 Whosoever therefore bear these names, and the names of the Son of God, shall enter into the kingdom of God.
144 Hear now, said he, the names of those women, which were clothed with the black garment. Of these, four are the principal: the first is Perfidiousness; the second, Incontinence; the third, Infidelity; the fourth, Pleasure.
145 And the rest which follow are called thus, Sadness, Malice, Lust, Anger, Lying, Foolishness, Pride, and Hatred. The servant of God, which carries these spirits, shall see indeed the kingdom of God, but he shall not enter into it.
146 But, Sir, what are those stones which were taken out of the deep and fitted into the building? The ten, said he, which were placed at the foundation, are the first age; the following five-and-twenty, the second, of righteous men.
147 The next thirty-five, are the prophets and ministers of the Lord. And the forty, are the Apostles and doctors of the preaching of the Son of God.
148 And I said, Sir, why did the virgins put even those stones into the building after they were carried through the gate? And he said, Because these first carried those spirits, and they departed not one from the one, neither the men from the spirits, nor the spirits from the men:
149 But the spirits were joined to those men even to the day of their death; who if they had not had these spirits with them, they could not have been useful to the building of this tower.
150 And I said, Sir, shew me this farther. He answered, What dost thou ask? Why did these stones come out of the deep, and were placed into the building of this tower, seeing that they long ago carried those holy spirits.
151 It was necessary, said he, for them to ascend by water, that they might be at rest. For they could not otherwise enter into the kingdom of God, but by laying aside the mortality of their former life.
152 They therefore being dead, were nevertheless sealed with the seal of the Son of God, and so entered into the kingdom of God.
153 For before a man receives the name of the Son of God, he is ordained unto death; but when he receives that seal, he is freed from death, and assigned unto life.
154 Now that seal is the water of baptism, into which men go down under the obligation unto death, but come up appointed unto life.
155 Wherefore to those also was this seal preached, and they made use of it, that they might enter the kingdom of God.
156 And I said, Why then, sir, did these forty stones also ascend with them out of the deep, having already received that seal?
157 He answered, Because these Apostles and teachers, who preached the name of the Son of God, dying after they had received his faith and power, preached to them who were dead before; and they gave this seal to them.
158 They went down therefore into the water with them, and again came up. But these went down whilst they were alive, and came up again alive: whereas those who were before dead, went down dead, but came up alive;
159 Through these therefore they received life, and knew the Son of God: for which cause they came up with them, and were fit to come into the building of the tower; and were not cut, but put in entire; because they died in righteousness, and in great purity; only this seal was wanting to them.
160 Thus you have the explication of these things.
161 I answered: Sir, tell me now what concerns those mountains, why are they so different; some of one form, and some of another.
162 Hear, said he; These twelve mountains which thou seest, are twelve nations, which make up the whole world. Wherefore the Son of God is preached to them, by those whom he sent unto them.
163 But why, said I, are they different, and every one of a figure? He replied, Hearken. Those twelve nations which possess the whole world, are twelve people.
164 And as thou hast beheld these mountains different, so are they. I will therefore open to thee the meaning and actions of every mountain.
165 But first, sir, said I, shew me this; Seeing these mountains are so different, how have they agreed into the building of this tower; and been brought to one colour; and are no less bright than those that came out of the deep?
166 Because, replied he, all the nations which are under heaven, have heard and believed in the same one name of the Son of God by whom they are called.
167 Wherefore having received his seal, they have all been made partakers of the same understanding and 2 knowledge; and their faith and charity have been the same; and they have carried the spirits of these virgins together with his name.
168 And therefore the building of this tower appeared to be of the same colour, and did shine like the brightness of the sun.
169 But after that they had thus agreed in one mind there began to be one body of them all; howbeit some of them polluted themselves, and were cast off from the kind of the righteous, and again returned to their former state, and became even worse than they were before.
170 How, said I, sir, were they worse who knew the Lord? He answered: If he who knows not the Lord liveth wickedly, the punishment of his wickedness attends him.
171 But he who has known the Lord, ought to abstain altogether from all wickedness, and more and more to be the servant of righteousness.
172 And does not he then seem to thee to sin more who ought to follow goodness, if he shall prefer the part of sin; than he who offends without knowing the power of God?
173 Wherefore these are indeed ordained unto death; but they who have known the Lord, and have seen his wonderful works, if they shall live wickedly, they shall be doubly punished, and shall die for ever.
174 As therefore thou hast seen that after the stones were cast out of the tower, which had been rejected; they were delivered to wicked and cruel spirits; and thou beheldest the tower so cleansed, as if it had all been made of one stone:
175 So the church of God, when it shall be purified: (the wicked and counterfeits, the mischievous and doubtful, and all that have behaved themselves wickedly in it, and committed divers kinds of sin, being cast out) shall become one body, and there shall be one understanding, one opinion, one faith, and the same charity.
176 And then shall the Son of God rejoice among them, and shall receive his people with a pure will.
177 And I said; Sir, all these things are great and honourable; but now shew unto me the effect and force of every mountain: that every soul which trusteth in the Lord, when it shall hear these things may honour his great, and wonderful, and holy name.
178 Hear, said he, the variety of these mountains, that is, of the twelve nations.
179 They who have believed of the first mountain, which is black, are those who have revolted from the faith; and spoken wicked things against the Lord; and betrayed the servants of God.
180 These are condemned to death, there is no repentance for them: and therefore they are black, because their kind is wicked.
181 Of the second mountain which was smooth, are the 1 hypocrites, who have believed, and the teachers of naughtiness: and these are next to the foregoing, which have not in them the fruit of righteousness.
182 For as their mountain is barren and without fruit; so also such kind of men have indeed the name of Christians, but are empty of faith; nor is there any fruit of the truth in them.
183 Nevertheless there is room left to them for repentance, if they shall suddenly pursue it: but if they shall delay, they also shall be partakers of death with the foregoing kind.
184 I said, Sir, why is there room left to those for repentance, and not to the foregoing kind, seeing their sins are well nigh the same?
185 There is therefore, said he to these a return unto life by repentance, because they have not blasphemed against their Lord, nor betrayed the servants of God: but by their desire of gain have deceived men, leading them according to the lusts of sinners; wherefore they shall suffer for this thing.
186 Howbeit there is still left them room for repentance, because they have not spoken any thing wickedly against the Lord.
187 They who are of the third mountain which had thorns and brambles, are those who believed, but were some of them rich, others taken up with many affairs: the brambles are their riches: the thorns, those affairs in which they were engaged.
188 Now they who are entangled in much business, and in diversity of affairs, join not themselves to the servants of God, but wander, being called away by those affairs with which they are choked.
189 And so they which are rich, with difficulty yield themselves to the conversation of the servants of God; fearing lest anything should be asked of them. These therefore shall hardly enter into the kingdom of God.
190 For as men walk with difficulty bare-foot over thorns, even so these kind of men shall scarcely enter into the kingdom of God.
191 Nevertheless there is afforded to all these a return unto repentance; if that they shall quickly return to it; that because in their former days they have neglected to work, in the time that is to come they may do some good.
192 If therefore having repented they shall do the works of righteousness, they shall live; but if they shall continue in their evil courses, they shall be delivered to those women that will take away their life.
193 As for the fourth mountain, which had many herbs, the upper part of which is green, but the roots dry, and some of which being touched with the heat of the sun are withered;
194 It denotes the doubtful, who have believed, and some others who carry the Lord in their tongues, but have him not in their heart: therefore their grass is dry, and without root; because they live only in words, but their works are dead.
195 These therefore are neither dead nor living, and withal are doubtful. For the doubtful are neither green nor dry; that is, neither dead nor alive.
196 For as the herbs dry away at the sight of the sun; so the doubtful as soon as they hear of persecution, and fear inconveniences, return to their idols, and again serve them, and are ashamed to bear the name of their Lord.
197 This kind of men then is neither dead nor alive; nevertheless these also may live, if they shall presently repent; but if not, they shall be delivered to those women, who shall take away their life.
198 As concerning the fifth mountain that is craggy, and yet has green grass: they are of this kind who have believed, and are faithful indeed, but believe with difficulty; and are bold, and self-conceited; that would be thought to know all things, but really know nothing.
199 Wherefore, by reason of this confidence, knowledge is departed from them; and a rash presumption is entered into them.
200 But they carry themselves high, and as prudent men; and though they are fools, yet would seem to be teachers.
201 Now by reason of this folly many of them, whilst they magnify themselves, are become vain and empty. For boldness and vain confidence is a very evil spirit.
202 Wherefore many of these are cast away; but others acknowledging their error, have repented, and submitted themselves to those who are knowing.
203 And to all the rest of this kind there is repentance allowed; forasmuch as they were not so much wicked as foolish, as void of understanding.
204 If these therefore shall repent, they shall live unto God; but if not, they shall dwell with those women, who shall exercise their wickedness upon them.
205 For what concerns the sixth mountain having greater and lesser clefts, they are such as have believed; but those in which were lesser clefts are they who have had controversies among themselves; and by reason of their quarrels languish in the faith;
206 Nevertheless many of these have repented, and so will the rest when they shall hear my commands; for their controversies are but small, and they will easily return unto repentance.
207 But those who have the greater clefts, will be as stiff stones, mindful of grudges and offences, and full of anger among themselves. These therefore are cast from the tower, and refused to be put into its building; for this kind of men shall hardly live.
208 Our God and Lord, who ruleth over all things, and has power over all his creatures, will not remember our offences, but is easily appeased by those who confess their sins: but man being languid, mortal, infirm, and full of sins, perseveres in his anger against man; as if it were in his power to save or destroy him.
209 But I, as the angel who am set over your repentance, admonish you, that whosoever among you has any such purpose he should lay it aside, and return unto repentance; and the Lord will heal your former sins, if you shall purge yourselves from this evil spirit; but if you shall not do it, ye shall be delivered to him unto death.
210 As for the seventh mountain in which the grass was green and flourishing, and the whole mountain faithful; and all kind of cattle fed upon the grass of it, and the more the grass was eaten so much the more it flourished:
211 They are such as believed, and were always good and upright; and without any differences among themselves, but still rejoiced in the servants of God, having put on the spirit of these virgins; and been always forward to shew mercy to all men, readily giving to all men of their labours without upbraiding, and without deliberation.
212 Wherefore the Lord seeing their simplicity and innocence, has increased them in the works of their hands, and given them grace in all their works.
213 But I, who am the angel appointed over your repentance, exhort you, that as many as are of this kind would continue in the same purpose, that your seed may not be rooted out forever.
214 For the Lord hath tried you, and written you into our number; and all your seed shall dwell with the Son of God; for ye are all of his spirit.
215 As concerning the eighth mountain in which were a great many springs, by which every kind of all the creatures of God was watered; they are such as have believed the Apostles which the Lord sent into all the world to preach;
216 And some of them being teachers have preached and taught purely and sincerely, and have not in the least yielded to any evil desires, but have constantly walked in righteousness and truth.
217 These therefore have their conversations among the angels.
218 Again; as for what concerns the ninth mountain which is desert, and full of serpents; they are such as have believed, but had many stains:
219 These are such ministers as discharge their ministry amiss; ravishing away the goods of the widows and fatherless; and serve themselves, not others, out of those things which they have received.
220 These, if they continue in this covetousness, have delivered themselves unto death, nor shall there be any hope of life for them. But if they shall be converted, and shall discharge their ministry sincerely, they may live.
221 As for those which were found rough, they are such as have denied the name of the Lord, and not returned again to the Lord, but have become savage and wild; not applying themselves to the servants of God; but being separated from them, have for a little carelessness lost their lives.
222 For as a vine that is forsaken in a hedge, and never dressed, perishes and is choked by the weeds, and in time becomes wild, and ceases to be useful to its lord; so this kind of men despairing of themselves, and being soured, have begun to be unprofitable to their Lord.
223 Howbeit to these there is, after all, repentance allowed, if they shall not be found from their hearts to have denied Christ; but if any of these shall be found to have denied him from his heart, I cannot tell whether such a one can attain unto life.
224 I say therefore that if any one hath denied, he should in these days return unto repentance; for it cannot be that any one who now denies the Lord, can afterwards attain unto salvation: nevertheless repentance is proposed unto them who have formerly denied.
225 But he who will repent must hasten on his repentance, before the building of this tower is finished: otherwise he shall be delivered by those women unto death.
226 But they that are maimed are the deceitful; and those who mix with one another, these are the serpents that you saw mingled in that mountain.
227 For as the poison of serpents is deadly unto men; so the words of such persons infect and destroy men. They are therefore maimed in their faith, by reason of that kind of life which they lead.
228 Howbeit some of them, having repented, have been saved, and so shall others of the same kind be also saved, if they shall repent; but if not, they shall die by those women whose power and force they possess.
229 For what concerns the tenth mountain, in which were the trees covering the cattle, they are such as have believed, and some of them have been bishops, that is, governors of the churches.
230 Others, are such stones as have not feignedly, but with a cheerful mind entertained the servants of God.
231 Then such as have been set over inferior ministries; and have protected the poor and the widows; and have always kept a chaste conversation: therefore they also are protected by the Lord.
232 Whosoever shall do on this wise, are honored with the Lord; and their place is among the angels, if they shall continue to obey the Lord even unto the end.
233 As to the eleventh mountain in which were trees loaded with several sorts of fruits, they are such as have believed, and suffered death, for the name of the Lord; and have endured with a ready mind, and have given up their lives with all their hearts.
234 And I said, Why then, sir, have all these fruit indeed, but yet some fairer than others?
235 Hearken, said he: Whosoever have suffered for the name of the Lord are esteemed honourable by the Lord; and all their offences are blotted out, because they have suffered death for the name of the Son of God.
236 Hear now, why their fruits are different, and some of them excel others, they who being brought before magistrates, and being asked, denied not the Lord, but suffered with a ready mind; these are more honourable with the Lord. The fruits therefore that are the most fair are these.
237 But they who were fearful and doubtful, and have deliberated with themselves whether they should confess or deny Christ, and yet have suffered; their fruits are smaller, because that this thought came into their hearts.
238 For it is a wicked and evil thought for a servant to deliberate whether he should deny his master. Take heed therefore ye who have such thoughts, that this mind continue not in you, and ye die unto God.
239 But ye who suffer death for his name sake, ought to honour the Lord, that he has esteemed you worthy to bear his name; and that you should be delivered from all your sins.
240 And why therefore do you not rather esteem yourselves happy? Yea think verily that if any one among you suffer, he performs a great work? For the Lord giveth you life, and ye understand it not. For your offences did oppress you; and if ye had not suffered for his name sake, ye had now been dead unto the Lord,
241 Wherefore I speak this unto you who deliberate whether ye should confess or deny him; confess that ye have the Lord for your God; lest at any time denying him, ye be delivered not into bonds.
242 For all nations punish their servants which deny their masters; what think you that the Lord will do unto you, who has the power of all things?
243 Remove therefore out of hearts these doubts, that ye may live forever unto God.
244 As for the twelfth mountain, which was white, they are such as have believed like sincere children, into whose thoughts there never came any malice, nor have they ever known what sin was, but have always continued in their integrity.
245 Wherefore this kind of men shall without all doubt inherit the kingdom of God; because they have never in any thing defiled the commandments of God, but have continued with sincerity in the same condition all the days of their life.
246 Whosoever therefore, said he, shall continue as children without malice; shall be more honourable than all those of whom I have yet spoken: for all such children are honoured by the Lord, and esteemed the first of all.
247 Happy therefore are ye who shall remove all malice from you, and put on innocence; because ye shall first see the Lord.
248 And after he had thus ended his explication of all the mountains, I said unto him, Sir, show me now also what concerns the stones that were brought out of the plain, and put into the tower in the room of those that were rejected:
249 As also concerning those round stones which were added into the building of the tower: and also of those who still continued round.
250 Hear now, says he, concerning those stones which were brought out of the plain into the building of the tower, and placed in the room of those that were rejected; they are the roots of that white mountain.
251 Wherefore because those who have believed of that mountain were very innocent; the lord of this tower commanded that they which were of the roots of this mountain should be placed into the building.
252 For he knew that if they were put into this building they would continue bright; nor would any of them any more be made black.
253 But if he had added on this manner from the rest of the mountains, he would almost have needed again to visit the tower and to cleanse it.
254 Now all these white stones are the young men who have believed, or shall believe; for they are all of the same kind. Happy is this kind, because it is innocent.
255 Hear now also concerning those round and bright stones: all these are of this white mountain. But they are therefore found round, because their riches have a little darkened them from the truth and dazzled their eyes:
256 Howbeit they have never departed from the Lord, nor has any wicked word proceeded out of their mouths; but all righteousness, and virtue, and truth.
257 When therefore the Lord saw their mind, and that they might adorn the truth; he commanded that they should continue good, and that their riches should be pared away:
258 For he would not have them taken wholly away, to the end they might do some good with that which was left, and live unto God; because they also are of a good kind.
259 Therefore was there a little cut off from them, and so they were put into the building of this tower.
260 As for the rest which continued still round, and were not found fit for the building of this tower, because they have not yet received the seal; they were carried back to their place, because they were found very round.
261 But this present world must be cut away from them, and the vanities of their riches; and then they will be fit for the kingdom of God. For they must enter into the kingdom of God, because God has blessed this innocent kind.
262 Of this kind therefore none shall fall away; for though any of them being tempted by the devil should offend, he shall soon return to his Lord God.
263 I the angel of repentance esteem you happy, whosoever are innocent as little children, because your portion is good and honourable with the Lord.
264 And I say unto all you who have received this seal; keep simplicity, and remember not the offences which are committed against you, nor continue in malice, or in bitterness, through the memory of offences.
265 But become one spirit, and provide remedies for these evil rents, and remove them from you; that the lord of the sheep may rejoice at it; for he will rejoice, if he shall find all whole.
266 But if any of these sheep shall be found scattered away, Wo shall be to the shepherds; but and if the shepherds themselves shall be scattered; what will they answer to the lord of the sheepfold? Will they say that they were troubled by the sheep? But they shall not be believed.
267 For it is an incredible thing that the shepherd should suffer by his flock; and he shall be the more punished for his lie.
268 Now I am the shepherd; and especially must give an account of you.
269 Wherefore take care of yourselves whilst the tower is yet building. The Lord dwells in those that love peace; for peace is beloved; but he is far off from the contentious, and those who are full of malice.
270 Wherefore restore unto him the spirit entire, as ye received it. For if thou shalt give unto a fuller a garment new and whole, thou wilt expect to receive it whole again; if therefore the fuller shall restore it unto thee torn, wouldest thou receive it?
271 Wouldst thou not presently be angry; and reproach him, saying; I gave my garment to thee whole; why hast thou rent it, and made it useless to me? Now it is of no use to me, by reason of the rent which thou hast made in it. Wouldst thou not say all this to a fuller, for the rent which he made in thy garment?
272 If therefore thou wouldst be concerned for thy garment, and complain that thou hadst not received it whole; what thinkest thou that the Lord will do, who gave his Spirit to thee entire, and thou hast rendered him altogether unprofitable, so that he can be of no use unto his Lord? For being corrupted by thee, he is no longer profitable to him.
273 Will not therefore the Lord do the same concerning his Spirit, by reason of thy deed? Undoubtedly, said I, he will do the same to all those whom he shall find to continue in the remembrance of injuries.
274 Tread not then under foot he said, his mercy; but rather honour him, because he is so patient with respect to your offences, and not like one of you; but repent, for that will be profitable for you.
275 All these things which are above written, I the shepherd, the angel of repentance, have shown and spoken to the servants of God.
276 If therefore ye shall believe and hearken to these words, and shall walk in them, and shall correct your ways, ye shall live. But if ye shall continue in malice, and in the remembrance of injuries, no such sinners shall live unto God.
277 All these things which were to be spoken by me I have thus delivered unto you. Then the shepherd said unto me, Hast thou asked all things of me? I answered, Sir, I have.
278 Why, then, said he, hast thou not asked concerning the spaces of these stones that were put in the building, that I may explain that also unto thee? I answered, Sir, I forgot it. Hear, then, said he, concerning these also.
279 They are those who have now heard these commands, and have repented with all their hearts;
280 And when the Lord saw that their repentance was good and pure, and that they could continue in it, he commanded their former sins to be blotted out. For these spaces were their sins, and they are therefore made even that they might not appear.

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