Shepherd of Hermas

The Shepherd of Hermas 

Hermas Chapter 1


2 The master, who reared me, had sold me to one Rhoda in Rome.

3 After many years, I met her again, and began to love her as a sister.

4 After a certain time I saw her bathing in the river Tiber;

5 and I gave her my hand, and led her out of the river.

6 So, seeing her beauty, I reasoned in my heart, saying, Happy were I, if I had such an one to wife both in beauty and in character.

7 I merely reflected on this and nothing more.

8 After a certain time, as I was journeying to Cumae, and glorifying God‘s creatures for their greatness and splendour and power, as I walked I fell asleep.

9 And a Spirit took me, and bore me away through a pathless tract, through which no man could pass

10 for the place was precipitous, and broken into clefts by reason of the waters.

11 When then I had crossed the river, I came into the level country, and knelt down, and began to pray to the Lord and to confess my sins.

12 Now, while I prayed, the heaven was opened, and I see the lady, whom I had desired, greeting me from heaven, saying, Good morrow, Hermas.

13 And, looking at her, I said to her, Lady, what doest thou here?

14 Then she answered me, I was taken up, that I might convict thee of thy sins before the Lord.

15 I said to her, Dost thou now convict me?

16 Nay, not so, said she, but hear the words, that I shall say to thee.

17 God, Who dwelleth in the heavens, and created out of nothing the things which are, and increased and multiplied them for His holy Church‘s sake, is wroth with thee, for that thou didst sin against me.

18 I answered her and said, Sin, against thee?

19 In what way?

20 Did I ever speak an unseemly word unto thee?

21 Did I not always regard thee as a goddess?

22 Did I not always respect thee as a sister?

23 How couldst thou falsely charge me, lady, with such villainy and uncleanness?

24 Laughing she saith unto me, The desire after evil entered into thine heart.

25 Nay, thinkest thou not that it is an evil deed for a righteous man, if the evil desire should enter into his heart?

26 It is indeed a sin and a great one too, saith she;

27 for the righteous man entertaineth righteous purposes.

28 While then, his purposes are righteous, his repute stands stedfast in the heavens, and he finds the Lord easily propitiated in all that he does.

29 But they that entertain evil purposes in their hearts, bring upon themselves death and captivity,

30 especially they that claim for themselves this present world, and boast in its riches, and cleave not to the good things that are to come.

31 Their souls shall rue it, seeing that they have no hope, but have abandoned themselves and their life. 

Hermas Chapter 2

1 AS soon as she had spoken these words the heavens were shut;

2 myself, If this sin is recorded against me, how can I be saved?

3 Or how shall I propitiate God for my sins which are full-blown?

4 Or with what words shall I entreat the Lord that He may be propitious unto me?

5 While I was advising and discussing these matters in my heart,

6 I see before me a great white chair of snow-white wool and there came an aged lady in glistening raiment, having a book in her hands,

7 and she sat down alone, and she saluted me, Good morrow, Hermas.

8 Then I grieved and weeping, said, Good morrow, lady.

9 And she said to me, Why so gloomy, Hermas, thou that art patient and good-tempered, and art always smiling?

10 Why so downcast in thy looks, and far from cheerful?

11 And I said to her, Because of an excellent lady saying that I had sinned against her.

12 Then she said, Far be this thing from the servant of God ! Nevertheless the thought did enter into thy heart concerning her.

13 Now to the servants of God such a purpose bringeth sin.

14 For it is an evil and mad purpose to overtake a devout spirit that hath been already approved,

15 that it should desire an evil deed, and especially if it be Hermas the temperate, who abstaineth from every evil desire, and is full of all simplicity and of great guilelessness.  

Hermas Chapter 3

1 Yet it is not for this that God is wroth with thee, but that thou mayest convert thy family, that hath done wrong against the Lord and against you their parents.

2 But out of fondness for thy children thou didst not admonish thy family, but didst suffer it to become fearfully corrupt.

3 Therefore the Lord is wroth with thee.

4 But He will heal all thy past sins, which have been committed in thy family;

5 for by reason of their sins and iniquities thou hast been corrupted by the affairs of this world.

6 But the great mercy of the Lord had pity on thee and thy family, and will strengthen thee, and establish thee in His glory.

7 Only be not thou careless, but take courage, and strengthen thy family.

8 For as the smith hammering his work conquers the task which he wills, so also doth righteous discourse repeated daily conquer all evil.

9 Cease not therefore to reprove thy children;

10 for I know that if they shall repent with all their heart, they shall be written in the books of life with the saints.

11 After these words of hers had ceased, she saith unto me, Wilt thou listen to me as I read?

12 Then say I, Yes, lady.

13 She saith to me, Be attentive, and hear the glories of God.

14 I listened with attention and with wonder to that which I had no power to remember;

15 for all the words were terrible, such as man cannot bear.

16 The last words however I remembered, for they were suitable for us and gentle.

17 Behold, the God of Hosts, Who by His invisible and mighty power and by His great wisdom created the world,

18 and by His glorious purpose clothed His creation with comeliness,

19 and by His strong word fixed the heaven,

20 and founded the earth upon the waters and by His own wisdom and providence formed His Holy Church, which also He blessedbehold,

21 He removeth the heavens and the mountains and the hills and the seas,

22 and all things are made level for His elect,

23 that He may fulfil to them the promise which He promised with great glory and rejoicing, if so be that they shall keep the ordinances of God, which they received, with great faith. 

Hermas Chapter 4

1 When then she finished reading and arose from her chair, there came four young men, and they took away the chair, and departed towards the East.

2 Then she calleth me unto her, and she touched my breast, and saith to me, Did my reading please thee?

3 And I say unto her, Lady, these last words please me, but the former were difficult and hard.

4 Then she spake to me, saying, These last words are for the righteous, but the former are for the heathen and the rebellious.

5 While she yet spake with me, two men appeared, and took her by the arms, and they departed, whither the chair also had gone towards the East. 

Hermas Chapter 5


2 and I called to mind my last years vision as I walked;

3 and again a Spirit taketh me, and carrieth me away to the same place as last year.

4 When then I arrived at the place, I fell upon my knees, and began to pray to the Lord, and to glorify His name, for that he counted me worthy, and made known unto me my former sins.

5 But after I had risen up from prayer, I behold before me the aged lady, whom also I had seen last year, walking and reading a little book.

6 And she saith to me, Canst thou report these things to the elect of God?

7 I say unto her, Lady, I cannot recollect so much;

8 but give me the little book, that I may copy it.

9 Take it, saith she, and be sure and return it to me.

10 I took it, and retiring to a certain spot in the country I copied it letter for letter:

11 for I could not make out the syllables.

12 When then I had finished the letters of the book, suddenly the book was snatched out of my hand; 

Hermas Chapter 6

1 Now after fifteen days, when I had fasted and entreated the Lord earnestly, the knowledge of the writing was revealed to me.

2 And this is what was written:

3 the Lord, and have betrayed their parents through great wickedness, yea, they have got the name of betrayers of parents, and yet they did not profit by their betrayal;

4 and they still further added to their sins wanton deeds and reckless wickedness;

5 and so the measure of their transgressions was filled up.

6 But make these words known to all thy children, and to thy wife who shall be as thy sister;

7 for she too refraineth not from using her tongue, wherewith she doeth evil.

8 But, when she hears these words, she will refrain, and will find mercy.

9 After that thou hast made known unto them All these words,

10 which the Master commanded me that they should be revealed unto thee, then all their sins which they sinned aforetime are forgiven to them;

11 yea, and to all the saints that have sinned unto this day, if they repent with their whole heart, and remove double-mindedness from their heart.

12 For the Master sware by His own glory, as concerning His elect;

13 that if, now that this day has been set as a limit, sin shall hereafter be committed, they shall not find salvation;

14 for repentance for the righteous hath an end;

15 the days of repentance are accomplished for all the saints;

16 whereas for the Gentiles there is repentance until the last day.

17 Thou shalt therefore say unto the rulers of the Church, that they direct their paths in righteousness, that they may receive in full the promises with abundant glory.

18 Ye therefore that work righteousness be stedfast, and be not double-minded, that ye may have admission with the holy angels.

19 Blessed are ye, as many as endure patiently the great tribulation that cometh, and as many as shall not deny their life.

20 For the Lord sware concerning His Son, that those who denied their Lord should be rejected from their life, even they that are now about to deny Him in the coming days; 

Hermas Chapter 7

1 But do thou, Hermas, no longer bear a grudge against thy children, neither suffer thy sister to have her way,

2 so that they with a righteous chastisement, unless thou bear a grudge against them thyself.

3 The bearing of a grudge worketh death.

4 But thou, Hermas, hast had great tribulations of thine own, by reason of the transgressions of thy family, because thou hadst no care for them.

5 For thou wast neglectful of them, and wast mixed up with thine evil transactions.

6 But herein is thy salvation, in that thou didst not depart from the living God, and in thy simplicity and thy great continence.

7 These have saved thee, if thou abidest therein;

8 and they save all who do such things, and walk in guilelessness and simplicity.

9 These men prevail over all wickedness, and continue unto life eternal.

10 Blessed are all they that work righteousness.

11 They shall never be destroyed.

12 But thou shalt say to Maximus, ―Behold tribulation cometh (upon thee), if thou think fit to deny a second time.

13 The Lord is nigh unto them that turn unto Him, as it is written in Eldad and Modat, who prophesied to the people in the wilderness.‖ 

Hermas Chapter 8

1 Now, brethren, a revelation was made unto me in my sleep by a youth of exceeding fair form,

2 who said to me, Whom thinkest thou the aged woman, from whom thou receivedst the book, to be?

3 I say, The Sibyl.

4 Thou art wrong, saith be, she is not.

5 Who then is she?

6 I say.

7 The Church, saith he.

8 I said unto him, Wherefore then is she aged?

9 Because, saith he, she was created before all things;

10 therefore is she aged;

11 and for her sake the world was framed.

12 And afterwards I saw a vision in my house.

13 The aged woman came, and asked me, if I had already given the book to the elders.

14 I said that I had not given it.

15 Thou hast done well, she said, for I have words to add.

16 When then I shall have finished all the words, it shall be made known by thy means to all the elect.

17 Thou shalt therefore write two little books, and shalt send one to Clement, and one to Grapte.

18 So Clement shall send to the foreign cities, for this is his duty;

19 while Grapte shall instruct the widows and the orphans.  

Hermas Chapter 9


2 fasting often, and entreating the Lord to declare unto me the revelation which He promised to show me by the mouth of the aged woman,

3 that very night the aged woman was seen of me,

4 and she said to me, Seeing that thou art so importunate and eager to know all things, come into the country where thou abidest,

5 and about the fifth hour I will appear, and will show thee what thou oughtest to see.

6 I asked her, saying, Lady, to what part of the country ?

7 Where thou wilt, saith she.

8 I selected a beautiful and retired spot;

9 but before I spoke to her and named the spot, she saith to me, I will come, whither thou willest.

10 I went then, brethren, into the country, and I counted up the hours, and came to the place where I appointed her to come,

11 and I see an ivory couch placed there, and on the couch there lay a linen cushion, and on the cushion was spread a coverlet of fine linen of flax. 

Hermas Chapter 10

1 When I saw these things so ordered, and no one in the place,

2 I was amazed, and a fit of trembling seized me, and my hair stood on end and a fit of shuddering came upon me, because I was alone.

3 When then I recovered myself, and remembered the glory of God, and took courage, I knelt down and confessed my sins to the Lord once more, as I had done on the former occasion. 

Hermas Chapter 11

1 Then she came with six young men, the same whom I had seen before, and she stood by me, and listened attentively to me, as I prayed and confessed my sins to the Lord.

2 And she touched me, and said:

3 Hermas, make an end of constantly entreating for thy sins;

4 entreat also for righteousness, that thou mayest take some part forthwith to thy family.

5 Then she raiseth me by the hand, and leadeth me to the couch, and saith to the young men, Go ye, and build.

6 And after the young men had retired and we were left alone, she saith to me, Sit down here.

7 I say to her, Lady, let the elders sit down first.

8 Do as I bid thee, saith she, sit down.

9 When then I wanted to sit down on the right side, she would not allow me, but beckoned me with her hand that I should sit on the left side.

10 As then I was musing thereon, and was sad because she would not permit me to sit on the right side, she saith to me, Art thou sad, Hermas?

11 The place on the right side is for others, even for those who have already been well-pleasing to God, and have suffered for the Names sake.

12 But thou lackest much that thou shouldest sit with them;

13 but as thou abidest in thy simplicity, even so continue, and thou shalt sit with them, thou and as many as shall have done their deeds, and have suffered what they suffered. 

Hermas Chapter 12

1 What did they suffer?

2 say I.

3 Listen, saith she.

4 Stripes, imprisonments, great tribulations, crosses, wild beasts, for the Names sake.

5 Therefore to them belongs the right side of the Holiness-to them, and to all who shall suffer for the Name.

6 But for the rest is the left side.

7 Howbeit, to both, to them that sit on the right, and to them that sit on the left, are the same gifts, and the same promises, only they sit on the right and have a certain glory.

8 Thou indeed art very desirous to sit on the right with them, but thy shortcomings are many;

9 yet thou shalt be purified from thy shortcomings; 

Hermas Chapter 13

1 When she had said this, she wished to depart;

2 but, falling at vision which she promised.

3 Then she again took me by the hand, and raiseth me, and seateth me on the couch at the left hand, while she herself sat on the right.

4 And lifting up a certain glistening rod, she saith to me, Seest thou a great thing?

5 I say to her, Lady, I see nothing.

6 She saith to me, Look thou;

7 dost thou not see in front of thee a great tower being builded upon the waters, of glistening square stones?

8 Now the tower was being builded foursquare by the six young men that came with her.

9 And countless other men were bringing stones, some of them from the deep, and others from the land, and were handing them to the six young men.

10 And they took them and builded.

11 The stones that were dragged from the deep they placed in every case,

12 just as they were, into the building, for they had been shaped, and they fitted in their joining with the other stones;

13 and they adhered so closely one with another that their joining could not possibly be detected;

14 and the building of the tower appeared as if it were built of one stone.

15 But of the other stones which were brought from the dry land, some they threw away, and some they put into the building;

16 and others they broke in pieces, and threw to a distance from the tower.

17 Now many other stones were lying round the tower, and they did not use them for the building;

18 for some of them were mildewed, and others had cracks ill them, and others were too short, and others were white and round, and did not fit into the building.

19 And I saw other stones thrown to a distance from the tower, and coming to the way, and yet not staying in the way, but rolling to where there was no way;

20 and others falling into the fire and burning there; 

Hermas Chapter 14

1 When she had shown me these things, she wished to hurry these things, and yet not to know what the things mean?

2 She answered and said unto me, Thou art an over-curious fellow, in desiring to know all that concerns the tower.

3 Yea, lady, I said, that I may announce it to any brethren, and that they [may be the more gladdened and] when they hear [these things] may know the Lord in great glory.

4 Then said she, Many shall hear;

5 but when they hear, some of them shall be glad, and others shall weep.

6 Yet even these latter, if they hear and repent, shall likewise be glad.

7 Hear thou therefore the parables of the tower;

8 for I will reveal all things unto thee.

9 And trouble me no more about revelation;

10 for these revelations have an end, seeing that they have been completed.

11 Nevertheless thou wilt not cease asking for revelations;

12 for thou art shameless. 

Hermas Chapter 15

1 The tower, which thou seest building, is myself, the Church, which was seen of thee both now and aforetime.

2 Ask, therefore, what thou willest concerning the tower, and I will reveal it unto thee, that thou mayest rejoice with the saints.

3 I say unto her, Lady, since thou didst hold me worthy once for all, that thou shouldest reveal all things to me, reveal them.

4 Then she saith to me, Whatsoever is possible to be revealed to thee, shall be revealed.

5 Only let thy heart be with God, and doubt not in thy mind about that which thou seest.

6 I asked her, Wherefore is the tower builded upon waters, lady?

7 I told thee so before, said she, and indeed thou dost enquire diligently.

8 So by thy enquiry thou discoverest the truth.

9 Hear then why the tower is builded upon waters;

10 it is because your life is saved and shall be saved by water. 

Hermas Chapter 16

1 I answered and said unto her,

2 Lady, this thing is great and These are the holy angels of GOD, that were created first of all, unto whom the Lord delivered all His creation to increase and to build it, and to be masters of all creation.

3 By their hands therefore the building of the tower will be accomplished.

4 And who are the others who are bringing the stones?

5 They also are holy angels of God;

6 but these six are superior to them.

7 The building of the tower then shall be accomplished, and all alike shall rejoice in the (completed) circle of the tower, and shall glorify God that the building of the tower was accomplished.

8 I enquired of her, saying, Lady, I could wish to know concerning the end of the stones, and their power, of what kind it is.

9 She answered and said unto me, It is not that thou of all men art especially worthy that it should be revealed to thee;

10 for there are others before thee, and better than thou art, unto whom these visions ought to have been revealed.

11 But that the name of God may be glorified,

12 it hath been revealed to thee, and shall be revealed, for the sake of the doubtful-minded, who question in their hearts whether these things are so or not.

13 Tell them that all these things are true, and that there is nothing beside the truth, but that all are stedfast, and valid, and established on a firm foundation. 

Hermas Chapter 17

1 Hear now concerning the stones that go to the building.

2 The stones that are squared and white, and that fit together in their joints,

3 these are the apostles and bishops and teachers and deacons,

4 who walked after the holiness of God,

5 and exercised their office of bishop and teacher and deacon in purity and sanctity for the elect of God, some of them already fallen on sleep, and others still living.

6 And because they always agreed with one another, they both had peace among themselves and listened one to another.

7 Therefore their joinings fit together in the building of the tower.

8 But they that are dragged from the deep, and placed in the building, and that fit together in their joinings with the other stones that are already builded in, who are they?

9 These are they that suffered for the name of the Lord.

10 But the other stones that are brought from the dry land, I would fain know who these are, lady.

11 She said, Those that go to the building, and yet are not hewn, these the Lord hath approved because they walked in the uprightness of the Lord, and rightly performed His commandments.

12 But they that are brought and placed in the building, who are they?

13 They are young in the faith, and faithful;

14 but they are warned by the angels to do good, because wickedness was found in them.

15 But those whom they rejected and threw away, who are they?

16 These have sinned, and desire to repent, therefore they were not cast to a great distance from the tower, because they will be useful for the building, if they repent.

17 They then that shall repent, if they repent, will be strong in the faith, if they repent now while the tower is building.

18 But if the building shall be finished, they have no more any place, but shall be castaways. 

Hermas Chapter 18

1 But wouldst thou know about them that are broken in pieces, and cast away far from the tower?

2 These are the sons of wickedness was absent from them.

3 Therefore they have not salvation, for they are not useful for building by reason of their wickednesses.

4 Therefore they were broken up and thrown far away by reason of the wrath of the Lord, for they excited Him to wrath.

5 But the rest whom thou hast seen lying in great numbers, not going to the building, of these they that are mildewed are they that knew the truth, but did not abide in it, nor cleave to the saints. 

Hermas Chapter 19

1 But they that have the cracks, who are they?

2 These are they at peace among themselves;

3 who have an appearance of peace, but when they depart from one another, their wickednesses abide in their hearts.

4 These are the cracks which the stones have.

5 But they that are broken off short, these have believed, and have their greater part in righteousness, but have some parts of lawlessness; 

Hermas Chapter 20

1 But the white and round stones, which did not fit into the building, who are they, lady?

2 She answered and said to me, How understandest nothing?

3 These are they that have faith, but have also riches of this world.

4 When tribulation cometh, they deny their Lord by reason of their riches and their business affairs.

5 And I answered and said unto her, When then, lady, will they be useful for the building ?

6 When, she replied, their wealth, which leadeth their souls astray, shall be cut away, then will they be useful for God.

7 For just as the round stone, unless it be cut away, and lose some portion of itself, cannot become square,

8 so also they that are rich in this world, unless their riches be cut away, cannot become useful to the lord.

9 Learn first from thyself.

10 When thou hadst riches, thou wast useless;

11 but now thou art useful and profitable unto life. 

Hermas Chapter 21

1 But the other stones which thou sawest cast far away from the tower and falling into the way and rolling out of the way into believed,

2 but by reason of their double heart they abandon their true way.

3 Thus thinking that they can find a better way, they go astray and are sore distressed, as they walk about in the regions where there is no way.

4 But they that fall into the fire and are burned,

5 these are they that finally rebelled from the living God,

6 and it no more entered into their hearts to repent by reason of the lusts of their wantonness and of the wickednesses which they wrought.

7 But the others, which fall near the waters and yet cannot roll into the water, wouldest thou know who are they?

8 These are they that heard the word, and would be baptized unto the name of the Lord.

9 Then, when they call to their remembrance the purity of the truth, they change their minds, and go back again after their evil desires.

10 So she finished the explanation of the tower.

11 Still importunate, I asked her further, whether for all these stones that were rejected and would not fit into the building of the tower there was repentance, and they had a place in this tower.

12 They can repent, she said, but they cannot be fitted into this tower.

13 Yet they shall be fitted into another place much more humble, but not until they have undergone torments, and have fulfilled the days of their sins.

14 And they shall be changed for this reason, because they participated it, the Righteous Word;

15 and then shall it befall them to be relieved from their torments, if the evil deeds, that they have done, come into their heart; 

Hermas Chapter 22

1 When then I ceased asking her concerning all these things, desirous of beholding, I was greatly rejoiced that I should see it.

2 She looked upon me, and smiled, and she saith to me, Seest thou seven women round the tower?

3 I see them, lady, say I.

4 This tower is supported by them by commandment of the Lord.

5 Hear now their employments.

6 The first of them, the woman with the strong hands, is called Faith;

7 through her are saved the elect of God.

8 And the second, that is girded about and looketh like a man, is called Continence;

9 she is the daughter of Faith.

10 Whosoever then shall follow her, becometh happy in his life, for he shall refrain from all evil deeds, believing that, if he refrain from every evil desire, he shall inherit eternal life.

11 And the others, lady, who be they?

12 They are daughters one of the other.

13 The name of the one is Simplicity, of the next, knowledge, of the next, Guilelessness, of the next, Reverence, of the next, Love.

14 When then thou shalt do all the works of their mother, thou canst live.

15 I would fain know, lady, I say, what power each of them possesseth.

16 Listen then, saith she, to the powers which they have.

17 Their powers are mastered each by the other, and they follow each other, in the order in which they were born.

18 From Faith is born Continence, from Continence Simplicity, from Simplicity Guilelessness, from Guilelessness Reverence, from Reverence knowledge, from knowledge Love.

19 Their works then are pure and reverent and divine.

20 Whosoever therefore shall serve these women, and shall have strength to master their works, shall have his dwelling in the tower with the saints of God.

21 Then I asked her concerning the seasons, whether the consummation is even now.

22 But she cried aloud, saying, Foolish man, seest thou not that the tower is still a-building?

23 Whensoever therefore the tower shall be finished building, the end cometh;

24 but it shall be built up quickly.

25 Ask me no more questions:

26 this reminder is sufficient for you and for the saints, and is the renewal of your spirits.

27 But it was not revealed to thyself alone, but in order that thou mightest show these things unto all.

28 After three days-for thou must understand first,

29 and I charge thee, Hermas, first with these words, which I am about to speak to thee-(I charge thee to) tell all these things into the ears of the saints,

30 that hearing them and doing them they may be purified from their wickednesses, and thyself also with them. 

Hermas Chapter 23

1 Hear me, my children.

2 I brought you up in much simplicity and guilelessness and reverence,

3 through the mercy of the Lord, Who instilled righteousness into you, that ye might be justified and sanctified from all wickedness and all crookedness.

4 But ye will not to cease from your wickedness.

5 Now then hear me and be at peace among your, selves, and have regard one to another, and assist one another,

6 and do not partake of the creatures of God alone in abundance, but share them also with those that are in want.

7 For some men through their much eating bring weakness on the flesh, and injure their flesh:

8 whereas the flesh of those who have nought to eat is injured by their not having sufficient nourishment, and their body is ruined.

9 This exclusiveness therefore is hurtful to you that have and do not share with them that are in want.

10 Look ye to the judgment that cometh.

11 Ye then that have more than enough, seek out them that are hungry, while the tower is still unfinished;

12 for after the tower is finished, ye will desire to do good, and will find no place for it.

13 Look ye therefore, ye that exult in your wealth,

14 lest they that are in want shall moan, and their moaning shall go up unto the Lord, and ye with your [abundance of) good things be shut outside the door of the tower.

15 Now therefore I say unto you that are rulers of the Church, and that occupy the chief seats;

16 be not ye like unto the sorcerers.

17 The sorcerers indeed carry their drugs in boxes,

18 but ye carry your drug and your poison in your heart Ye are casehardened,

19 and ye will not cleanse your hearts and mix your wisdom together in a clean heart, that ye may obtain mercy from the Great King.

20 Look ye therefore, children, lest these divisions of yours deprive you of your life.

21 How is it that ye wish to instruct the elect of the Lord, while ye yourselves have no instruction?

22 Instruct one another therefore, and have peace among yourselves, that I also may stand gladsome before the Father, and give an account concerning you all to your Lord. 

Hermas Chapter 24

1 When then she ceased speaking with me, the six young men, who were building, came, and took her away to the tower, and other four lifted the couch, and took it also away to the tower.

2 I saw not the face of these, for they were turned away.

3 And, as she went, I asked her to reveal to me concerning the three forms, in which she had appeared to me.

4 She answered and said to me;

5 As concerning these things thou must ask another, that they may be revealed to thee.

6 Now she was seen of me, brethren, in my first vision of last year, as a very aged woman and seated on a chair.

7 In the second vision her face was youthful, but her flesh and her hair were aged, and she spake to me standing;

8 and she was more gladsome than before.

9 But in the third vision she was altogether youthful and of exceeding great beauty, and her hair alone was aged;

10 and she was gladsome exceedingly and seated on a couch.

11 Touching these things I was very greatly anxious to learn this revelation.

12 And I see the aged woman in a vision of the night, saying to me, Every enquiry needs humility.

13 Fast therefore, and thou shalt receive what thou askest from the Lord.

14 So I fasted one day;

15 and that very night there appeared unto me a young man, and he saith to me, Seeing that thou askest me revelations offhand with entreaty, take heed lest by thy much asking thou injure thy flesh.

16 Sufficient for thee are these revelations.

17 Canst thou see mightier revelations than those thou hast seen?

18 I say unto him in reply, Sir, this one thing alone I ask, concerning the three forms of the aged woman, that a complete revelation may be vouchsafed me.

19 He saith to me in answer, How long are ye without understanding?

20 It is your double-mindedness that maketh you of no understanding, and because your heart is not set towards the Lord. 

Hermas Chapter 25

1 Listen, saith he, concerning the three forms, of which thou enquirest.

2 In the first vision wherefore did she appear to aged, and already decayed, and had no power by reason of your infirmities and acts of double-mindedness.

3 For as aged people, having no longer hope of renewing their youth, expect nothing else but to fall asleep,

4 so ye also, being weakened with the affairs of this world, gave yourselves over to repining, and cast not your cares on the Lord;

5 but your spirit was broken, and ye were aged by your sorrows.

6 Wherefore then she was seated on a chair, I would fain know, Sir.

7 Because every weak person sits on a chair by reason of his weakness, that the weakness of his body may be supported. 

Hermas Chapter 26

1 But in the second vision thou sawest her standing, and with her countenance more youthful and more gladsome than before;

2 saith he.

3 Imagine an old man, who has now lost all hope of himself by reason of his weakness and his poverty, and expecteth nothing else save the last day of his life.

4 Suddenly an inheritance is left him.

5 He heareth the news, riseth up and full of joy clothes himself with strength, and no longer lieth down, but standeth up,

6 and his spirit, which was now broken by reason of his former circumstances, is renewed again, and he no longer sitteth, but taketh courage;

7 so also was it with you, when ye heard the revelation which the Lord revealed unto you.

8 For He had compassion on you, and renewed your spirits,

9 and ye laid aside your maladies, and strength came to you, and ye were made powerful in the faith, and the Lord rejoiced to see you put on your strength.

10 And therefore He showed you the building of the tower; 

Hermas Chapter 27

1 But in the third vision ye saw her younger and fair and cometh some piece of good tidings,

2 immediately he forgetteth his former sorrows,

3 and admitteth nothing but the tidings which he hath heard, and is strengthened thenceforth unto that which is good, and his spirit is renewed by reason of the joy which he hath received;

4 so also ye have received a renewal of your spirits by seeing these good things.

5 And whereas thou sawest her seated on a couch, the position is a firm one;

6 for the couch has four feet and standeth firmly;

7 for the world too is upheld by means of four elements.

8 They then that have fully repented shall be young again, and founded firmly, seeing that they have repented with their whole heart.

9 There thou hast the revelation entire and complete. 

Hermas Chapter 28

1 VISION FOUR The fourth vision which I saw, brethren, twenty days after tribulation.

2 I was going into the country by the Campanian Way.

3 From the high road, it is about ten stades;

4 and the place is easy for travelling.

5 While then I am walking alone,

6 I entreat the Lord that He will accomplish the revelations and the visions which He showed me through His holy Church,

7 that He may strengthen me and may give repentance to His servants which have stumbled,

8 that His great and glorious Name may be glorified, for that He held me worthy that He should show me His marvels.

9 And as I gave glory and thanksgiving to Him, there answered me as it were the sound of a voice, Be not of doubtful mind Hermas.

10 I began to question in myself and to say, How can I be of doubtful mind, seeing that I am so firmly founded by the Lord, and have seen glorious things?

11 And I went on a little, brethren, and behold, I see a cloud of dust rising as it were to heaven, and I began t> say within myself, Can it be that cattle are coming, and raising a cloud of dust ?

12 for it was just about a stade from me.

13 As the cloud of dust waxed greater and greater, I suspected that it was something supernatural.

14 Then the sun shone out a little, and behold, I see a huge beast like some sea-monster, and from its mouth fiery locusts issued forth.

15 And the beast was about a hundred feet in length, and its head was as it were of pottery.

16 And I began to weep, and to entreat the Lord that He would rescue me from it.

17 And I remembered the word which I had heard, Be not of doubtful mind, Hermas.

18 Having therefore, brethren, put on the faith of the Lord and called to mind the mighty works that He had taught me, I took courage and gave myself up to the beast.

19 Now the beast was coming on with such a rush, that it might have ruined a city.

20 I come near it, and, huge monster as it was, it stretcheth itself on the ground, and merely put forth its tongue, and stirred not at all until I had passed by it.

21 And the beast had on its head four colours; 

Hermas Chapter 29

1 Now after I had passed the beast,

2 and had gone forward about thirty feet, behold, there meeteth me a virgin arrayed as if she sandals, veiled up to her forehead, and her head-covering consisted of a turban, and her hair was white.

3 I knew from the former visions that it was the Church, and I became more cheerful.

4 She saluteth me, saying, Good morrow, my good man;

5 and I saluted her in turn, Lady, good morrow.

6 She answered and said unto me, Did nothing meet thee?

7 I say unto her, Lady, such a huge beast, that could have destroyed whole peoples :

8 but, by the power of the Lord and by His great mercy, I escaped it.

9 Thou didst escape it well, saith she,

10 because thou didst cast thy care upon God, and didst open thy heart to the Lord, believing that thou canst be saved by nothing else but by His great and glorious Name.

11 Therefore the Lord sent His angel, which is over the beasts, whose name is Segri, and shut its mouth, that it might not hurt thee.

12 Thou hast escaped a great tribulation by reason of thy faith, and because, though thou sawest so huge a beast, thou didst not doubt in thy mind.

13 Go therefore, and declare to the elect of the Lord His mighty works, and tell them that this beast is a type of the great tribulation which is to come.

14 If therefore ye prepare yourselves beforehand,

15 and repent (and turn) unto the Lord with your whole heart, ye shall be able to escape it, if your heart be made pure and without blemish, and if for the remaining days of your life ye serve the Lord blamelessly.

16 Cast your cares upon the Lord and He will set them straight.

17 Trust ye in the Lord, ye men of doubtful mind, for He can do all things, yea, He both turneth away His wrath from you, and again He sendeth forth His plagues upon you that are of doubtful mind.

18 Woe to them that hear these words and are disobedient; 

Hermas Chapter 30

1 I asked her concerning the four colours, which the beast had upon its head.

2 Then she answered me and said, Again thou art me what these things are.

3 Listen, said she;

4 the black is this world in which ye dwell;

5 and the fire and blood colour showeth that this world must perish by blood and fire;

6 and the golden part are ye that have escaped from this world.

7 For as the gold is tested by the fire and is made useful, so ye also

[that dwell in it] are being tested in yourselves.

8 Ye then that abide and pass through the fire will be purified by it.

9 For as the gold loses its dross, so ye also shall cast away all sorrow and tribulation, and shall be purified, and shall be useful for the building of the tower.

10 But the white portion is the coming age, in which the elect of God shall dwell;

11 because the elect of God shall be without spot and pure unto life eternal.

12 Wherefore cease not thou to speak in the ears of the saints.

13 Ye have now the symbolism also of the tribulation which is coming in power.

14 But if ye be willing, it shall be nought.

15 Remember ye the things that are written beforehand.

16 With these words she departed, and I saw not in what direction she departed;

17 for a noise was made; 

Hermas Chapter 31


2 As I prayed in the house, and sat on the couch,

3 there entered a skin wrapped about him, and with a wallet on his shoulders and a staff in his hand.

4 And he saluted me, and I saluted him in return.

5 And he immediately sat down by my side, and he saith unto me, I was sent by the most holy angel, that I might dwell with thee the remaining days of thy life.

6 I thought he came to tempt me, and I say unto him, Why, who art thou?

7 For I know, say I, unto whom I was delivered.

8 He saith to me, Dost thou not recognise me?

9 No, I say.

10 I, saith he, am the shepherd, unto whom thou wast delivered.

11 While he was still speaking, his form was changed, and I recognised him as being the same, to whom I was delivered;

12 and straightway I was confounded, and fear seized me, and I was altogether overwhelmed with distress that I had answered him so wickedly and senselessly.

13 But he answered and said unto me, Be not confounded, but strengthen thyself in my commandments which I am about to command thee.

14 For I was sent, saith he, that I might show thee again all the things which thou didst see before, merely the heads which are convenient for you.

15 First of all, write down my commandments and my parables;

16 and the other matters thou shalt write down as I shall show them to thee.

17 The reason why, saith he, I command thee to write down first the commandments and parables is, that thou mayest read them offhand, and mayest be able to keep them.

18 So I wrote down the commandments and parables, as he commanded me.

19 If then, when ye hear them, ye keep them and walk in them, and do them with a pure heart, ye shall receive from the Lord all things that He promised you;

20 but if, when ye hear them, ye do not repent, but still add to your sins, ye shall receive from the Lord the opposite. 

Hermas Chapter 32


2 First of all, believe that God is One,

3 even He Who created all non-existence into being, Who comprehendeth all things, being alone incomprehensible.

4 Believe Him therefore, and fear Him, and in this fear be continent.

5 Keep these things,

6 and thou shall cast off all wickedness from thyself, and shall clothe thyself with every excellence of righteousness, and shall live unto God, if thou keep this commandment. 

Hermas Chapter 33


2 He saith to me;

3 Keep simplicity and be guileless, and thou shall be as little children, that know not the wickedness which destroyeth the life of men.

4 First of all, speak evil of no man, neither take pleasure in listening to a slanderer.

5 Otherwise thou that hearest too shalt be responsible for the sin of him that speaketh the evil, if thou believest the slander, which thou hearest;

6 for in believing it thou thyself also wilt have a grudge against thy brother.

7 So then shalt thou be responsible for the sin of him that speaketh the evil.

8 Slander is evil;

9 it is a restless demon, never at peace, but always having its home among factions.

10 Refrain from it therefore, and thou shalt have success at all times with all men.

11 But clothe thyself in reverence, wherein is no evil stumbling-block, but all things are smooth and gladsome.

12 Work that which is good,

13 and of thy labours, which God giveth thee, give to all that are in want freely, not questioning to whom thou shall give, and to whom thou shall not give.

14 Give to all;

15 for to all God desireth that there should be given of His own bounties.

16 They then that receive shall render an account to God why they received it, and to what end;

17 for they that receive in distress shall not be judged, but they that receive by false pretence shall pay the penalty.

18 He then that giveth is guiltless;

19 for as he received from the Lord the ministration to perform it, he hath performed it in sincerity, by making no distinction to whom to give or not to give.

20 This ministration then, when sincerely performed, becomes glorious in the sight of God.

21 He therefore that ministereth thus sincerely shall live unto God.

22 Therefore keep this commandment, as I have told thee, that thine own repentance and that of thy household may be found to be sincere, and [thy] heart pure and undefiled. 

Hermas Chapter 34


2 Again he saith to me;

3 Love truth, and let nothing but truth proceed out of thy mouth, that the Spirit which God made to dwell in this flesh, may be found true in the sight of all men;

4 and thus shall the Lord, Who dwelleth in thee, be glorified;

5 for the Lord is true in every word, and with Him there is no falsehood.

6 They therefore that speak lies set the Lord at nought, and become robbers of the Lord, for they do not deliver up to Him the deposit which they received.

7 For they received of Him a spirit free from lies.

8 This if they shall return a lying spirit, they have defiled the commandment of the Lord and have become robbers.

9 When then I heard these things, I wept bitterly.

10 But seeing me weep he saith, Why weepest thou ?

11 Because, Sir, say I, I know not if I can be saved.

12 Why so?

13 saith he.

14 Because, Sir, I say, never in my life spake I a true word, but I always lived deceitfully with all men and dressed up my falsehood as truth before all men;

15 and no man ever contradicted me, but confidence was placed in my word.

16 How then, Sir, say I, can I live, seeing that I have done these things?

17 Your supposition, he saith, is right and true,

18 for it behoved thee as a servant of God to walk in truth, and no complicity with evil should abide with the Spirit of truth, nor bring grief to the Spirit which is holy and true.

19 Never, Sir, say I, heard I clearly words such as these.

20 Now then, saith he, thou hearest.

21 Guard them, that the former falsehoods also which thou spakest in thy business affairs may themselves become credible, now that these are found true;

22 for they too can become trustworthy.

23 If thou keep these things,

24 and from henceforward speak nothing but truth,

25 thou shalt be able to secure life for thyself And whosoever shall hear this command, and abstain from falsehood, that most pernicious habit, shall live unto God. 

Hermas Chapter 35


2 I charge thee, saith he, to keep purity,

3 and let not a thought enter into thy heart concerning another‘s wife, or concerning fornication or concerning any such like evil deeds;

4 for in so doing thou committest a great sin.

5 But remember thine own wife always, and thou shalt never go wrong.

6 For should this desire enter into thine heart, thou wilt go wrong, and should any other as evil as this, thou committest sit,.

7 For this desire in a servant of God is a great sin;

8 and if any man doeth this evil deed, he worketh out death for himself Look to it therefore.

9 Abstain from this desire;

10 for, Mere holiness dwelleth, there lawlessness ought not to enter into the heart of a righteous man.

11 I say to him, Sir, permit me to ask thee a few more questions.

12 Say on, saith he.

13 Sir, say I, if a man who has a wife that is faithful in the Lord detect her in adultery, doth the husband sin in living with her?

14 So long as he is ignorant, saith he, he sinneth not;

15 but if the husband know of her sin, and the wife repent not, but continue in her fornication, and her husband live with her, he makes himself responsible for her sin and an accomplice in her adultery.

16 What then, Sir, say I, shall the husband do, if the wife continue in this case?

17 Let him divorce her, saith he, and let the husband abide alone:

18 but if after divorcing his wife he shall marry another, he likewise committeth adultery.

19 If then, Sir, say I, after the wife is divorced, she repent and desire to return to her own husband, shall she not be received?

20 Certainly, saith he, if the husband receiveth her not, he sinneth and bringeth great sin upon himself;

21 nay, one who hath sinned and repented must be received, yet not often;

22 for there is but one repentance for the servants of God.

23 For the sake of her repentance therefore the husband ought not to marry.

24 This is the manner of acting enjoined on husband and wife.

25 Not only, saith he, is it adultery, if a man pollute his flesh, but whosoever doeth things like unto the heathen committeth adultery.

26 If therefore in such deeds as these likewise a man continue and repent not, keep away from him, and live not with him.

27 Otherwise, thou also art a partaker of his sin.

28 For this cause ye were enjoined to remain single, whether husband or wife;

29 for in such cases repentance is possible.

30 I, said he, am not giving an excuse that this matter should be concluded thus, but to the end that the sinner should sin no more.

31 But as concerning his former sin, there is One who is able to give healing; 

Hermas Chapter 36

1 I asked him again, saying, Seeing that the Lord held me worthy that thou shouldest always dwell with me, suffer me still to made dense by my former deeds.

2 Make me to understand, for I am very foolish, and I apprehend absolutely nothing.

3 He answered and said unto me, I, saith he, preside over repentance, and I give understanding to all who repent.

4 Nay, thinkest thou not, saith he, that this very act of repentance is understanding?

5 To repent is great understanding, saith he.

6 For the man that hath sinned understandeth that he hath done evil before the Lord,

7 and the deed which he hath done entereth into his heart, and he repenteth, and doeth no more evil, but doeth good lavishly, and humbleth his own soul and putteth it to torture because it sinned.

8 Thou seest then that repentance is great understanding.

9 It is on this account therefore, Sir, say I, that I enquire everything accurately of thee;

10 first, because I am a sinner;

11 secondly, because I know not what deeds I must do that I may live, for my sins are many and various.

12 Thou shalt live, saith he, if thou keep my commandments and walk in them; 

Hermas Chapter 37

1 I will still proceed, Sir, say I, to ask a further question.

2 Speak on, saith he.

3 I have heard, Sir, say I, from took place when we went down into the water and obtained remission of our former sins.

4 He saith to me;

5 Thou hast well heard;

6 for so it is.

7 For he that hath received remission of sins ought no longer to sin, but to dwell in purity.

8 But, since thou enquirest all things accurately,

9 I will declare unto thee this also, so as to give no excuse to those who shall hereafter believe or those who have already believed, on the Lord.

10 For they that have already believed, or shall hereafter believe, have not repentance for sins, but have only remission of their former sins.

11 To those then that were called before these days the Lord has appointed repentance.

12 For the Lord, being a discerner of hearts and foreknowing all things,

13 perceived the weakness of men and the manifold wiles of the devil, how that he will be doing some mischief to the servants of God, and will deal wickedly with them.

14 The Lord then, being very compassionate, had pity on His handiwork, and appointeth this (opportunity of) repentance, and to me was given the authority over this repentance.

15 But I say unto you, saith he, if after this great and holy calling any one, being tempted of the devil, shall commit sin, he hath only one

(opportunity of) repentance.

16 But if he sin off-hand and repent, repentance is unprofitable for such a man;

17 for he shall live with difficulty.

18 I say unto him, I was quickened into life again, when I heard these things from thee so precisely.

19 For I know that, if I shall add no more to my sins, I shall be saved. 

Hermas Chapter 38

1 I asked him again, saying, Sir, since once thou dost bear with me, declare unto me this further matter also.

2 Say on, saith and one of them marry, doth the one that marrieth sin?

3 He sinneth not, saith he, but if he remain single, he investeth himself with more exceeding honour and with great glory before the Lord;

4 yet even if he should marry, he sinneth not.

5 Preserve purity and holiness therefore, and thou shalt live unto God.

6 All these things, which I speak and shall hereafter speak unto thee, guard from this time forward, from the day when thou vast committed unto me, and I will dwell in thy house.

7 But for thy former transgressions there shall be remission, if thou keepest my commandments. 

Hermas Chapter 39


2 thou shalt have the mastery over all evil deeds, and shalt work all righteousness.

3 For if thou art long-suffering,

4 the Holy Spirit that abideth in thee shall be pure,

5 not being darkened by another evil spirit,

6 but dwelling in a large room shall rejoice and be glad with the vessel in which he dwelleth, and shall serve God with much cheerfulness, having prosperity in himself.

7 But if any angry temper approach, forthwith the Holy Spirit, being delicate, is straitened, not having [the) place clear, and seeketh to retire from the place;

8 for he is being choked by the evil spirit, and has no room to minister unto the Lord, as he desireth, being polluted by angry temper.

9 For the Lord dwelleth in long-suffering, but the devil in angry temper.

10 Thus that both the spirits then should be dwelling together is inconvenient and evil for that man in whom they dwell.

11 For if you take a little wormwood, and pour it into a jar of honey, is not the whole of the honey spoiled, and all that honey ruined by a very small quantity of wormwood?

12 For it destroyeth the sweetness of the honey, and it no longer hath the same attraction for the owner, because it is rendered bitter and hath lost its use.

13 But if the wormwood be not put into the honey, the honey is found sweet and becomes useful to its owner.

14 Thou seest [then) that long-suffering is very sweet, beyond the sweetness of honey, and is useful to the Lord, and He dwelleth in it.

15 But angry temper is bitter and useless.

16 If then angry temper be mixed with long-suffering, long-suffering is polluted and the mans intercession is no longer useful to God.

17 I would fain know, Sir, say I, the working of angry temper, that I may guard myself from it.

18 Yea, verily, saith he, if thou guard not thyself from it-thou and thy family-thou hast lost all thy hope.

19 But guard thyself from it;

20 for I am with thee.

21 Yea, and all men shall hold aloof from it, as many as have repenteth with their whole heart.

22 For I will be with them and will preserve them; 

Hermas Chapter 40

1 Hear now, saith he, the working of angry temper, how evil it is,

2 and how it subverteth the servants of God by its own working, lead astray them that are full in the faith, nor can it work upon them, because the power of the Lord is with them;

3 but them that are empty and double-minded it leadeth astray.

4 For when it seeth such men in prosperity it insinuates itself into the heart of the man,

5 and for no cause whatever the man or the woman is embittered on account of worldly matters,

6 either about meats, or some triviality, or about some friend, or about giving or receiving, or about follies of this kind.

7 For all these things are foolish and vain and senseless and inexpedient for the servants of God.

8 But long-suffering is great and strong,

9 and has a mighty and vigorous power, and is prosperous in great enlargement, gladsome, exultant, free from care, glorifying the Lord at every season, having no bitterness in itself, remaining always gentle and tranquil.

10 This long-suffering therefore dwelleth with those whose faith is perfect.

11 But angry temper is in the first place foolish, fickle and senseless;

12 then from foolishness is engendered bitterness, and from bitterness wrath, and from wrath anger, and from anger spite;

13 then spite being composed of all these evil elements becometh a great sin and incurable.

14 For when all these spirits dwell in one vessel, where the Holy Spirit also dwelleth, that vessel cannot contain them, but overfloweth.

15 The delicate spirit therefore,

16 as not being accustomed to dwell with-an evil spirit nor with harshness, departeth from a man of that kind, and seeketh to dwell with gentleness and tranquility.

17 Then, when it hath removed from that man, in whom it dwells,

18 that man becometh emptied of the righteous spirit,

19 and henceforward, being filled with the evil spirits, he is unstable in all his actions,

20 being dragged about hither and thither by the evil spirits, and is altogether blinded and bereft of his good intent.

21 Thus then it happeneth to all persons of angry temper.

22 Refrain therefore from angry temper, the most evil of evil spirits.

23 But clothe thyself in long-suffering, and resist angry temper and bitterness, and thou shalt be found in company with the holiness which is beloved of the Lord.

24 See then that thou never neglect this commandment;

25 for if thou master this commandment, thou shalt be able likewise to keep the remaining commandments, which I am about to give thee.

26 Be strong in them and endowed with power; 

Hermas Chapter 41


2 I charged thee, saith he,

3 in my first commandment to guard saith he, I wish to show thee their powers also, that thou mayest understand what is the power and effect of each one of them.

4 For their effects are twofold.

5 Now they are prescribed alike to the righteous and the unrighteous.

6 Do thou therefore trust righteousness, but trust not unrighteousness;

7 for the way of righteousness is straight, but the way of unrighteousness is crooked.

8 But walk thou in the straight [and level] path, and leave the crooked one alone.

9 For the crooked way has no tracks, but only pathlessness and many stumbling-stones, and is rough and thorny.

10 So it is therefore harmful to those who walk in it.

11 But those who walk in the straight way walk on the level and without stumbling :

12 for it is neither rough nor thorny.

13 Thou seest then that it is more expedient to walk in this way.

14 I am pleased, Sir, say I, to walk in this way. 

Hermas Chapter 42

1 Hear now, saith he, concerning faith.

2 There are two then, Sir, say I, shall I know their workings, seeing that both angels dwell with me?

3 Hear, saith he, and understand their workings.

4 The angel of righteousness is delicate and bashful and gentle and tranquil.

5 When then this one enters into thy heart,

6 forthwith he speaketh with thee of righteousness, of purity, of holiness, and of contentment, of every righteous deed and of every glorious virtue.

7 When all these things enter into thy heart, know that the angel of righteousness is with thee.

8 [These then are the works of the angel of righteousness.]

9 Trust him therefore and his works.

10 Now see the works of the angel of wickedness also.

11 First of all, he is quick-tempered and bitter and senseless, and his works are evil, overthrowing the servants of God.

12 Whenever then he entereth into thy heart, know him by his works.

13 How I shall discern him, Sir, I reply, I know not.

14 Listen, saith he.

15 When a fit of angry temper or bitterness comes upon thee, know that he is in thee.

16 Then the desire of much business and the costliness of many viands and drinking bouts and of many drunken fits and of various luxuries which are unseemly,

17 and the desire of women, and avarice, and haughtiness and boastfulness,

18 and whatsoever things are akin and like to these-when then these things enter into thy heart, know that the angel of wickedness is with thee.

19 Do thou therefore, recognising his works, stand aloof from him, and trust him in nothing, for his works are evil and inexpedient for the servants of God.

20 Here then thou hast the workings of both the angels.

21 Understand them, and trust the angel of righteousness.

22 But from the angel of wickedness stand aloof, for his teaching is evil in every matter;

23 for though one be a man of faith, and the desire of this angel enter into his heart, that man, or that woman, must commit some sin.

24 And if again a man or a woman be exceedingly wicked, and the works of the angel of righteousness come into that mans heart, he must of necessity do something good.

25 Thou seest then, saith he, that it is good to follow the angel of righteousness, and to bid farewell to the angel of wickedness.

26 This commandment declareth what concerneth faith,, that thou mayest trust the works of the angel of righteousness, and doing them mayest live unto God.

27 But believe that the works of the angel of wickedness are difficult; 

Hermas Chapter 43


2 Fear the Lord, saith he, and keep His commandments.

3 So deed, and thy doing shall be incomparable.

4 For whilst thou fearest the Lord, thou shalt do all things well.

5 But this is the fear wherewith thou oughtest to be afraid, and thou shalt be saved.

6 But fear not the devil;

7 for, if thou fear the Lord, thou shalt be master over the devil, for there is no power in him.

8 [For] in whom is no power, neither is there fear of him;

9 but in whom power is glorious, of him is fear likewise.

10 For every one that hath power hath fear, whereas he that hath no power is despised of all.

11 But fear thou the works of the devil, for they are evil.

12 While then thou fearest the Lord, thou wilt fear the works of the devil, and wilt not do them, but abstain from them.

13 Fear therefore is of two kinds.

14 If thou desire to do evil, fear the Lord, and thou shalt not do it.

15 If again thou desire to do good, fear the Lord and thou shalt do it.

16 Therefore the fear of the Lord is powerful and great and glorious.

17 Fear the Lord then, and thou shalt live unto Him;

18 yea, and as many of them that keep His commandments as shall fear Him, shall live unto God.

19 Wherefore, Sir, say I, didst thou say concerning those that keep His commandments, ―They shall live unto God‖?

20 Because, saith he, every creature feareth the Lord, but not every one keepeth His commandments.

21 Those then that fear Him and keep His commandments, they have life unto God; 

Hermas Chapter 44


2 I told thee, saith he, that the creatures of God are twofold;

3 be temperate, but in other things it is not right.

4 Make known unto me, Sir, say I, in what things it is right to be temperate, and in what things it is not right.

5 Listen, saith he.

6 Be temperate as to what is evil, and do it not;

7 but be not temperate as to what is good, but do it.

8 For if thou be temperate as to what is good, so as not to do it, thou committest a great sin;

9 but if thou be temperate as to what is evil, so as not to do it, thou doest great righteousness.

10 Be temperate therefore in abstaining from all wickedness, and do that which is good.

11 What kinds of wickedness, Sir, say I, are they from which we must be temperate and abstain?

12 Listen, saith he;

13 from adultery and fornication,

14 from the lawlessness of drunkenness, from wicked luxury,

15 from many viands and the costliness of riches, and vaunting and haughtiness and pride, and from falsehood and evil-speaking and hypocrisy, malice and all blasphemy.

16 These works are the most wicked of all in the life of men.

17 From these works therefore the servant of God must be temperate and abstain;

18 for he that is not temperate so as to abstain from these cannot live unto God.

19 Listen then to what follows upon these.

20 Why, are there still other evil deeds, Sir?

21 say I.

22 Aye, saith he, there are many, from which the servant of God must be temperate and abstain;

23 theft, falsehood, deprivation, false witness, avarice, evil desire, deceit, vain-glory, boastfulness, and whatsoever things are like unto these.

24 Thinkest thou not that these things are wrong, yea, very wrong,

[saith he,] for the servants of God?

25 In all these things he that serveth God must exercise temperance.

26 Be thou temperate, therefore, and refrain from all these things, that thou mayest live unto God, and be enrolled among those who exercise self-restraint in them.

27 These then are the things from which thou shouldest restrain thyself Now hear, saith he, the things, in which thou shouldest not exercise self-restraint, but do them.

28 Exercise no self-restraint in that which is good, but do it.

29 Sir, say I, show me the power of the good also, that I may walk in them and serve them, that doing them it may be possible for me to be saved.

30 Hear, saith he, the works of the good likewise, which thou must do, and towards which thou must exercise no self-restraint.

31 First of all, there is faith, fear of the Lord, love, concord, words of righteousness, truth, patience;

32 nothing is better than these it, the life of men.

33 If a man keep these, and exercise not self-restraint from them, he becomes blessed in his life.

34 Hear now what follow upon these;

35 to minister to widows, to visit the orphans and the needy,

36 to ransom the servants of God from their afflictions,

37 to be hospitable (for in hospitality benevolence from time to time has a place),

38 to resist no man, to be tranquil, to show yourself more submissive than all men,

39 to reverence the aged, to practise righteousness, to observe brotherly feeling,

40 to endure injury, to be long-suffering, to bear no grudge,

41 to exhort those who are sick at soul, not to cast away those that have stumbled from the faith,

42 but to convert them and to put courage into them, to reprove sinners, not to oppress debtors and indigent persons, and whatsoever actions are like these.

43 Do these things, saith he, seem to thee to be good?

44 Why, what, Sir, say I, can be better than these ?

45 Then walk in them, saith he, and abstain not from them, and thou shalt live unto God.

46 Keep this commandment therefore.

47 If thou do good and abstain not from it, thou shalt live unto God;

48 yea, and all shall live unto God who act so.

49 And again if thou do not evil, and abstain from it, thou shalt live unto God;

50 yea, and all shall live unto God, who shall keep these commandments, and walk in them. 

Hermas Chapter 45


2 He saith to me;

3 Remove from thyself a doubtful mind and doubt not at all whether to ask of God, saying within thyself, ― How can I ask a thing of the Lord and receive it, seeing that I have committed so many sins against Him?‖

4 Reason not thus, but turn to the Lord with thy whole heart,

5 and ask of Him, nothing wavering, and thou shalt know His exceeding compassion, that He will surely not abandon thee, but will fulfil the petition of thy soul.

6 For God is not as men who bear a grudge, but Himself is without malice and hath compassion on His creatures.

7 Do thou therefore cleanse thy heart from all the vanities of this life, and from the things mentioned before;

8 and ask of the Lord, and thou shalt receive all things, and shalt lack nothing of all thy petitions, if thou ask of the Lord nothing wavering.

9 But if thou waver in thy heart, thou shalt surely receive none of thy petitions.

10 For they that waver towards God, these are the doubtful-minded, and they never obtain any of their petitions.

11 But they that are complete in the faith make all their petitions trusting in the Lord, and they receive, because they ask without wavering, nothing doubting;

12 for every doubtful-minded man, if he repent not, shall hardly be saved.

13 Cleanse therefore thy heart from doubtful-mindedness, and put on faith, for it is strong, and trust God that thou wilt receive all thy petitions which thou askest;

14 and if after asking anything of the Lord, thou receive thy petition somewhat tardily, be not of doubtful mind because thou didst not receive the petition of thy soul at once.

15 For assuredly it is by reason of some temptation or some transgression, of which thou art ignorant, that thou receivest thy petition so tardily.

16 Do thou therefore cease not to make thy souls petition, and thou shalt receive it.

17 But if thou grow weary, and doubt as thou askest, blame thyself and not Him that giveth unto thee.

18 See to this doubtful-mindedness;

19 for it is evil and senseless, and uprooteth many from the faith, yea, even very faithful and strong men.

20 For indeed this doubtful-mindedness is a daughter of the devil, and worketh great wickedness against the servants of God.

21 Therefore despise doubtful-mindedness and gain the mastery over it in everything, clothing thyself with faith which is strong and powerful.

22 For faith promiseth all things, accomplisheth all things;

23 but doubtful-mindedness, as having no confidence in itself, fails in all the works which it doeth.

24 Thou seest then, saith he, that faith is from above from the Lord, and hath great power;

25 but doubtful-mindedness as an earthly spirit from the devil, and hath no power.

26 Do thou therefore serve that faith which hath power, and hold aloof from the doubtful-mindedness which hath no power;

27 and thou shalt live unto God;

28 yea, and all those shall live unto God who are so minded. 

Hermas Chapter 46


2 Put away sorrow from thyself, saith he, for she is the sister of doubtful-mindedness and of angry temper.

3 How, Sir, say I, is she the sister of these?

4 For angry temper seems to me to be one thing, doubtfulmindedness another, sorrow another.

5 Thou art a foolish fellow, saith he,

6 [and] perceivest not that sorrow is more evil than all the spirits,

7 and is most fatal to the servants of God, and beyond all the spirits destroys a man, and crushes out the Holy Spirit, and yet again saves it.

8 I, Sir, say I, am without understanding, and I understand not these parables.

9 For how it can crush out and again save, I do not comprehend.

10 Listen, saith he.

11 Those who have never investigated concerning the truth,

12 nor enquired concerning the deity,

13 but have merely believed,

14 and have been mixed up in business affairs and riches and heathen friendships,

15 and many other affairs of this world-as many, I say, as devote themselves to these things, comprehend not the parables of the deity;

16 for they are darkened by these actions, and are corrupted and become barren.

17 As good vineyards,

18 when they are treated with neglect, are made barren by the thorns and weeds of various kinds,

19 so men who after they have believed fall into these many occupations which were mentioned before, lose their understanding and comprehend nothing at all concerning righteousness;

20 for if they hear concerning the deity and truth, their mind is absorbed in their occupations, and they perceive nothing at all.

21 But they that have the fear of God,

22 and investigate concerning deity and truth, and direct their heart towards the Lord, perceive and understand everything that is said to them more quickly,

23 because they have the fear of the Lord in themselves;

24 for where the Lord dwelleth, there too is great understanding.

25 Cleave therefore unto the Lord, and thou shalt understand and perceive all things. 

Hermas Chapter 47

1 Hear now, senseless man, saith he, how sorrow crusheth out the Holy Spirit, and again saveth it.

2 When the man of doubtful mind sets his hand to any action, and fails in it owing to his doubtful-mindedness, grief at this entereth into the man, and grieveth the Holy Spirit, and crusheth it out.

3 Then again when angry temper cleaveth to a man concerning any matter,

4 and he is much embittered, again sorrow entereth into the heart of the man that was ill-tempered, and he is grieved at the deed which he hath done, and repenteth that he did evil.

5 This sadness therefore seemeth to bring salvation, because he repented at having done the evil.

6 So both the operations sadden the Spirit;

7 first, the doubtful mind saddens the Spirit, because it succeeded not in its business, and the angry temper again, because it did what was evil.

8 Thus both are saddening to the Holy Spirit, the doubtful mind and the angry temper.

9 Put away therefore from thyself sadness, and afflict not the Holy Spirit that dwelleth in thee, lest haply He intercede with God [against thee], and depart from thee.

10 For the Spirit of God, that was given unto this flesh, endureth not sadness neither constraint. 

Hermas Chapter 48

1 Therefore clothe thyself in cheerfulness, which hath favour with God always, and is acceptable to Him, and rejoice in it.

2 For every cheerful man worketh good, and thinketh good, and despiseth sadness;

3 but the sad man is always committing sin.

4 In the first place he committeth sin, because he grieveth the Holy Spirit, which was given to the man being a cheerful spirit;

5 and in the second place, by grieving the Holy Spirit he doeth lawlessness, in that he doth not intercede with neither confess unto God.

6 For the intercession of a sad man hath never at any time power to ascend to the altar of God.

7 Wherefore, say I, doth not the intercession of him that is saddened ascend to the altar?

8 Because, saith he, sadness is seated at his heart.

9 Thus sadness mingled with the intercession doth not suffer the intercession to ascend pure to the altar.

10 For as vinegar when mingled with vine in the same (vessel) hath not the same pleasant taste, so likewise sadness mingled with the Holy Spirit hath not the same intercession.

11 Therefore cleanse thyself from this wicked sadness, and thou shalt live unto God;

12 yea, and all they shall live unto God, who shall cast away sadness from themselves and clothe themselves in all cheerfulness. 

Hermas Chapter 49


2 He shewed me men seated on a couch, and another man seated on a chair.

3 And he saith to me, Seest thou those that are seated on the couch ?

4 I see them, Sir, say I.

5 These, saith he, are faithful,

6 but he that sitteth on the chair is a false prophet who destroyeth the mind of the servants of God-I mean, of the doubtful-minded, not of the faithful.

7 These doubtful-minded ones then come to him as to a soothsayer and enquire of him what shall befall them.

8 And he, the false prophet, having no power of a divine Spirit in himself, speaketh with them according to their enquiries [and according to the lusts of their wickedness],

9 and filleth their souls as they themselves wish.

10 For being empty himself he giveth empty answers to empty enquirers;

11 for whatever enquiry may be made of him, he answereth according to the emptiness of the man.

12 But he speaketh also some true words for the devil filleth him with his own spirit, if so be he shall be able to break down some of the righteous.

13 So many therefore as are strong in the faith of the Lord, clothed with the truth, cleave not to such spirits, but hold aloof from them;

14 but as many as are doubters and frequently change their minds, practise soothsaying like the Gentiles, and bring upon themselves greater sin by their idolatries.

15 For he that consulteth a false prophet on any matter is an idolater and emptied of the truth, and senseless.

16 For no Spirit given of God needeth to be consulted;

17 but, having the power of deity, speaketh all things of itself, because it is from above, even from the power of the divine Spirit.

18 But the spirit which is consulted, and speaketh according to the desires of men, is earthly and fickle, having no power;

19 and it speaketh not at all, unless it be consulted.

20 How then, Sir, say I, shall a man know who of them is a prophet, and who a false prophet?

21 Hear, saith he, concerning both the prophets;

22 and, as I shall tell thee, so shalt thou test the prophet and the false prophet.

23 By his life test the man that hath the divine Spirit.

24 In the first place, he that hath the [divine] Spirit, which is from above,

25 is gentle and tranquil and humble-minded,

26 and abstaineth from all wickedness and vain desire of this present world,

27 and holdeth himself inferior to all men, and giveth no answer to any man when enquired of, nor speaketh in solitude (for neither doth the Holy Spirit speak when a man wisheth Him to speak);

28 but the man speaketh then when God wisheth him to speak.

29 When then the man who hath the divine Spirit cometh into an assembly of righteous men, who have faith in a divine Spirit,

30 and intercession is made to God by the gathering of those men,

31 then the angel of the prophetic spirit, who is attached to him, filleth the man, and the man, being filled with the Holy Spirit, speaketh to the multitude, according as the Lord willeth.

32 In this way then the Spirit of the deity shall be manifest.

33 This then is the greatness of the power as touching the Spirit of the deity of the Lord.

34 Hear now, saith he, concerning the earthly and vain spirit, which hath no power but is foolish.

35 In, the first place, that man who seemeth to have a spirit exalteth himself,

36 and desireth to have a chief place,

37 and straight-way he is impudent and shameless and talkative and conversant in many luxuries and in many other deceits, and receiveth money for his prophesying, and if he receiveth not, he prophesieth not.

38 Now can a divine Spirit receive money and prophesy?

39 It is not possible for a prophet of God to do this, but the spirit of such prophets is earthly.

40 In the next place, it never approacheth an assembly of righteous men;

41 but avoideth them, and cleaveth to the doubtful-minded and empty,

42 and prophesieth to them in corners, and deceiveth them, speaking all things in emptiness to gratify their desires;

43 for they too are empty whom it answereth.

44 For the empty vessel placed together with the empty is not broken, but they agree one with the other.

45 But when he comes into an assembly full of righteous men who have a Spirit of deity,

46 and intercession is made from them,

47 that man is emptied, an(l the earthly spirit fleeth from him, in fear, and that man is struck dumb and is altogether broken in pieces, being unable to utter a word.

48 For, if you pack wine or oil into a closet, and place an empty vessel among them, and again desire to unpack the closet,

49 the vessel which you placed there empty, empty in like manner you will find it.

50 Thus also the empty prophets, whenever they come unto the spirits of righteous men, are found just such as they came.

51 I have given thee the life of both kinds of prophets.

52 Therefore test, by his life and his works, the man who says that he is moved by the Spirit.

53 But do thou trust the Spirit that cometh from God, and hath power;

54 but in the earthly and empty spirit put no trust at all;

55 for in it there is no power, for it cometh from the devil.

56 Listen [then] to the parable which I shall tell thee.

57 Take a stone, and throw it up to heaven-see if thou canst reach it;

58 or again, take a squirt of water, and squirt it up to heaven-see if thou canst bore through the heaven.

59 How, Sir, say I, can these things be?

60 For both these things which thou hast mentioned are beyond our power.

61 Well then, saith he, just as these things are beyond our power, so likewise the earthly spirits have no power and are feeble.

62 Now take the power which cometh from above.

63 The hail is a very small grain, and yet, when it falleth on a mans head, what pain it causeth! Or again, take a drop which falls on the ground from the tiles, and bores through the stone. 

Hermas Chapter 50


2 He saith to me;

3 Remove from thyself all evil desire, and clothe thyself in the desire which is good and holy;

4 for clothed with this desire thou shalt hate the evil desire, and shalt bridle and direct it as thou wilt.

5 For the evil desire is wild, and only tamed with difficulty;

6 for it is terrible, and by its wildness is very costly to men;

7 more especially if a servant of God get entangled in it, and have no understanding, he is put to fearful costs by it.

8 But it is costly to such men as are not clothed in the good desire, but are mixed up with this life.

9 These men then it hands over to death.

10 Of what sort, Sir, say I, are the works of the evil desire, which hand over men to death?

11 Make them known to me, that I may hold aloof from them.

12 Listen, [saith he,] through what works the evil desire bringeth death to the servants of God. 

Hermas Chapter 51

1 Before all is desire for the wife or husband of another, and for extravagance of wealth, and for many needless dainties, and for drinks and other luxuries, many and foolish.

2 For every luxury is foolish and vain for the servants of God.

3 These desires then are evil, and bring death to the servants of God.

4 For this evil desire is a daughter of the devil.

5 Ye must, therefore, abstain from the evil desires, that so abstaining ye may live unto God.

6 But as many as are mastered by them, and resist them not, are done to death utterly;

7 for these desires are deadly.

8 But do thou clothe thyself in the desire of righteousness, and, having armed thyself with the fear of the Lord, resist them.

9 For the fear of God dwelleth in the good desire.

10 If the evil desire shall see thee armed with the fear of God and resisting itself, it shall flee far from thee, and shall no more be seen of thee, being in fear of thine arms.

11 Do thou therefore, when thou art crowned for thy victory over it, come to the desire of righteousness,

12 and deliver to her the victors prize which thou hast received, and serve her, according as she herself desireth. 

Hermas Chapter 52

1 I would fain know, Sir, say I, in what ways I ought to serve the and the fear of the Lord, faith and gentleness, and as many good deeds as are like these.

2 Practising these thou shalt be well-pleasing as a servant of God, and shalt live unto Him; 

Hermas Chapter 53

1 So he completed the twelve commandments, and he saith to me;

2 Thou hast these commandments;

3 walk in them, and exhort thy hearers that their ministration, which I give thee, fulfil thou with all diligence to the end, and thou shalt effect much.

4 For thou shalt find favour among those who are about to repent, and they shall obey thy words.

Hermas Chapter 54

1 I say to him;

2 Sir, these commandments are great and beautiful and glorious, and are able to gladden the heart of the man who is able to man, for they are very hard.

3 He answered and said unto me;

4 If thou set it before thyself that they can be kept, thou wilt easily keep them, and they will not be hard;

5 but if it once enter into thy heart that they cannot be kept by a man, thou wilt not keep them.

6 But now I say unto thee;

7 if thou keep then, not, but neglect them, thou shalt not have salvation, neither thy children nor thy household, since thou hast already pronounced judgment against thyself that these commandments cannot be kept by a man. 

Hermas Chapter 55

1 And these things he said to me very angrily, so that I was confounded, and feared him exceedingly;

2 for his form was changed, so that a man could not endure his anger.

3 And when he saw that I was altogether disturbed and confounded, he began to speak more kindly [and cheerfully] to me, and he saith;

4 Foolish fellow, void of understanding and of doubtful mind,

5 perceivest thou not the glory of God, how great and mighty and marvelous it is,

6 how that He created the world for mans sake, and subjected all His creation to man, and gave all authority to him, that he should be master over all things under the heaven?

7 If then, [he saith,] man is lord of all the creatures of God and mastereth all things, cannot he also master these commandments?

8 Aye, saith he, the man that hath the Lord in his heart can master

[all things and] all these commandments.

9 But they that have the Lord on their lips, while their heart is hardened, and are far from the Lord, to them these commandments are hard and inaccessible.

10 Therefore do ye, who are empty and fickle in the faith, set your Lord in your heart, and ye shall perceive that nothing is easier than these commandments, nor sweeter, nor more gentle.

11 Be ye converted, ye that walk after the commandments of devil,

(the commandments which are so) difficult and bitter and wild and riotous;

12 and fear not the devil, for there is no power in him against you.

13 For I will be with you, I, the angel of repentance, who have the mastery over him.

14 The devil hath fear alone, but his fear hath no force. 

Hermas Chapter 56

1 I say to him, Sir, listen to a few words from me.

2 Say what thou wilt, saith he.

3 Man, Sir, I say, is eager to keep the commandments of strengthened in His commandments, and be subject to them;

4 but the devil is hard and overmastereth them.

5 He cannot, saith he, overmaster the servants of God, who set their hope on Him with their whole heart.

6 The devil can wrestle with them, but he cannot overthrow them.

7 If then ye resist him, he will be vanquished, and will flee from you disgraced.

8 But as many, saith he, as are utterly empty, fear the devil as if he had power.

9 When a man has filled amply sufficient jars with good wine, and among these jars a few are quite empty, he comes to the jars, and does not examine the full ones, for he knows that they are full;

10 but he examineth the empty ones, fearing lest they have turned sour.

11 For empty jars soon turn sour, and the taste of the wine is spoilt.

12 So also the devil cometh to all the servants of Cod tempting them.

13 As many then as are complete in the faith, oppose him mightily, and he departeth from them, not having a place where he can find an entrance.

14 So he cometh next to the empty ones, and finding a place goeth into them, and further he doeth what he willeth in them, and they become submissive slaves to him. 

Hermas Chapter 57

1 But I, the angel of repentance, say unto you;

2 Fear not the devil;

3 for I was sent, saith he, to be with you who repent with your whole heart, and to strengthen you in the faith.

4 Believe, therefore, on God, ye who by reason of your sins have despaired of your life, and are adding to your sins, and weighing down your life;

5 for if ye turn unto the Lord with your whole heart,

6 and work righteousness the remaining days of your life, and serve Him rightly according to His will, He will give healing to your former sins, and ye shall have power to master the works of the devil.

7 But of the threatening of the devil fear not at all;

8 for he is unstrung, like the sinews of a dead man.

9 Hear me therefore, and fear Him, Who is able to do all things, to save and to destroy, and observe these commandments, and ye shall live unto God.

10 I say to him, Sir, now am I strengthened in all the ordinances of the Lord, because thou art with me;

11 and I know that thou wilt crush all the power of the devil, and we shall be masters over him, and shall prevail over all his works.

12 And I hope, Sir, that I am now able to keep these commandments which thou hast commanded, the Lord enabling me.

13 Thou shalt keep them, saith he, if thy heart be found pure with the Lord; 

Hermas Chapter 58


2 He saith to me;

3 Ye know that ye, who far from this city.

4 If then ye know your city, in which ye shall dwell, why do ye here prepare fields and expensive displays and buildings and dwellingchambers which are superfluous?

5 He, therefore, that prepareth these things for this city does not purpose to return to his own city.

6 O foolish and double-minded and miserable man, perceivest thou not that all these things are foreign, and are under the power of another?

7 For the lord of this city shall say, ―I do not wish thee to dwell in my city;

8 go forth from this city, for thou dost not conform to my laws.‖

9 Thou, therefore, who hast fields and dwellings and many other possessions,

10 when thou art cast out by him, what wilt thou do with thy field and thy house and all the other things that thou preparedst for thyself?

11 For the lord of this country saith to thee justly, ―Either conform to my laws, or depart from my country.‖

12 What then shalt thou do, who art under law in thine own city?

13 For the sake of thy fields and the rest of thy possessions wilt thou altogether repudiate thy law, and walk according to the law of this city?

14 Take heed, lest it be inexpedient to repudiate thy law;

15 for if thou shouldest desire to return again to thy city, thou shalt surely not be received [because thou didst repudiate the law of thy city], and shalt be shut out from it.

16 Take heed therefore;

17 as dwelling in a strange land prepare nothing more for thyself but a competency which is sufficient for thee,

18 and make ready that,

19 whensoever the master of this city may desire to cast thee out for thine opposition to his law, thou mayest go forth from his city and depart into thine own city, and use thine own law joyfully, free from all insult.

20 Take heed therefore, ye that serve God and have Him in your heart work the works of God being mindful of His commandments and of the promises which He made, and believe Him that He will perform them, if His commandments be kept.

21 Therefore, instead of fields buy ye souls that are in trouble, as each is able, and visit widows and orphans, and neglect them not;

22 and spend your riches and all your displays, which ye received from God, on fields and houses of this kind.

23 For to this end the Master enriched you, that ye might perform these ministrations for Him.

24 It is much better to purchase fields [and possessions] and houses of this kind, which thou wilt find in thine own city, when thou visitest it.

25 This lavish expenditure is beautiful and joyous, not bringing sadness or fear, but bringing joy.

26 The expenditure of the heathen then practise not ye;

27 for it is not convenient for you the servants of God.

28 But practise your own expenditure, in which ye can rejoice;

29 and do not corrupt, neither touch that which is another mans, nor lust after it;

30 for it is wicked to lust after other men‘s possessions. 

Hermas Chapter 59


2 As I walked in the field, and noticed an elm and a vine,

3 and was distinguishing them and their fruits, the shepherd appeareth thinking, [Sir,] say I, about the elm and the vine, that they are excellently suited the one to the other.

4 These two trees, saith he, are appointed for a type to the servants of God.

5 I would fain know, [Sir,] say I, the type contained in these trees, of which thou speakest.

6 Seest thou, saith he, the elm and the vine?

7 I see them, Sir, say I.

8 This vine, saith he, beareth fruit, but the elm is an unfruitful stock.

9 Yet this vine, except it climb up the elm, cannot bear much fruit when it is spread on the ground;

10 and such fruit as it beareth is rotten, because it is not suspended upon the elm.

11 When then the vine is attached to the elm, it beareth fruit both from itself and from the elm.

12 Thou seest then that the elm also beareth [much] fruit, not less than the vine, but rather more.

13 How more, Sir? say I.

14 Because, saith he, the vine, when hanging upon the elm, bears its fruit in abundance, and in good condition;