Extended Writings


Hermas, in his 2 nd vision, is chastised for failing to admonish his talkative wife, his lustful sons, and his own character. He makes it clear that one must repent with all their heart and drive out all doubts from their minds for forgiveness to be granted. In regard to God’s elect, if any one of them sin after a certain day which has been fixed, he shall not be saved as there are limits to the repentance of the righteous. The saints are given many chances to repent, but to the unbelievers or heathens, repentance will be possible even to the last day. Hermas is directed to tell those who preside over the Church, to direct their ways in righteousness that they may receive the full promises/inheritance.

Chap. I.

 As I was going to the country about the same time as on the previous year, in my walk I recalled to memory the
vision of that year. And again, the Spirit carried me away, and took me to the same place where I had been
the year before. (Eze_1:1, Eze_3:23) On coming to that place, I bowed my knees and began to pray to the
Lord, and to glorify His name, because He had deemed me worthy, and had made known to me my former
sins. On rising from prayer, I see opposite me that old woman, whom I had seen the year before, walking and
reading some book. And she says to me,

“Can you carry a report of these things to the elect of God?”

I say to her,

“Lady, so much I cannot retain in my memory, but give me the book and I shall transcribe it.”

“Take it,”

says she,

“and you will give it back to me.”

Thereupon I took it, and going away into a certain part of the country, I transcribed the whole of it letter by letter; but the syllables of it I did not catch. No sooner, however,
had I finished the writing of the book, then all of a sudden it was snatched from my hands; but who the person was that snatched it, I saw not.

Chap. II.

Fifteen days after, when I had fasted and prayed much to the Lord, the knowledge of the writing was
revealed to me. Now the writing was to this effect: 

“Your seed, O Hermas, has sinned against God, and they
have blasphemed against the Lord, and in their great wickedness they have betrayed their parents. And they
passed as traitors of their parents, and by their treachery did they not reap profit. And even now they have added to their sin’s lusts and iniquitous pollutions, and thus their iniquities have, been filled up. But make
known (rebuke with) these words to all your children, and to your wife, who is to be your sister. For she
does not restrain her tongue, with which she commits iniquity; but, on hearing these words, she will control
herself, and will obtain mercy. For after you have made known to them these words which my Lord has
commanded me to reveal to you, then shall they be forgiven all the sins which in former times they
committed, and forgiveness will be granted to all the saints who have sinned even to the present day, if
they repent with all their heart, and drive all doubts from their minds. For the Lord has sworn by His
glory, in regard to His elect, that if any one of them sin after a certain day which has been fixed, he shall
not be saved. For the repentance of the righteous has limits. Filled up are the days of repentance to all the
saints; but to the heathen, repentance will be possible even to the last day. You will tell, therefore, those
who preside over the Church, to direct their ways in righteousness, that they may receive in full the
promises with great glory. Stand steadfast, therefore, ye who work righteousness, and doubt not, that your
passage (journey) may be with the holy angels. Happy ye who endure the great tribulation that is coming
on, and happy they who shall not deny their own life. For the Lord hath sworn by His Son, that those who
denied their Lord have abandoned their life in despair, for even now these are to deny Him in the days that are
coming. To those who denied in earlier times, God became gracious, on account of His exceeding tender mercy.”

Chap. III.

“But as for you, Hermas, remember not the wrongs done to you by your children, nor neglect your sister,
that they may be cleansed from their former sins. For they will be instructed with righteous instruction, if
you remember not the wrongs, they have done you. For the remembrance of wrongs worketh death. And
you, Hermas, have endured great personal (worldly) tribulations on account of the transgressions of your
house, because you did not attend to them, but were careless and engaged in your wicked
transactions. But you are saved, because you did not depart from the living God, and on account of your
simplicity and great self-control. These have saved you, if you remain steadfast. And they will save all who
act in the same manner and walk in guilelessness and simplicity. Those who possess such virtues will wax
strong against every form of wickedness and will abide unto eternal life. Blessed are all they who practice
righteousness, for they shall never be destroyed. Now you will tell Maximus: Lo! tribulation cometh on. If it
seemeth good to thee, deny again. The Lord is near to them who return unto Him, as it is written in Eldad
and Modat, who prophesied to the people in the wilderness.”

~Hermas– The Pastor of Hermas Book I Pt. I Vol. 2

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