The Third Book of HERMAS, which is called his SIMILITUDES.
> The Third Book of HERMAS, which is called his SIMILITUDES.  >
85 Verses | Page 1 / 2
(William Wake and Solomon Caesar Malan version)

8. 1  
AGAIN he shewed me a low which covered the fields and the mountains, under whose shadow came all such as were called by the name of the Lord.
8. 2  
And by that willow stood an angel of the Lord very excellent and lofty; and did cut down boughs from that willow with a great hook; and reached out to the people that were under the shadow of that willow little rods, as it were about a foot long.
8. 3  
And when all of them had taken them, he laid aside his hook, and the tree continued entire, as I had before seen it. At which I wondered, and mused within myself
8. 4  
Then that shepherd said unto me; Forbear to wonder that that tree continues whole, notwithstanding so many boughs have been cut off from it, but stay a little, for now it shall be shewn thee, what that angel means, who gave those rods to the people.
8. 5  
So he again demanded the rods of them, and in the same order that every one had received them, was he called to him, and restored his rod; which when he had received, he examined them.
8. 6  
From some he received them dry and rotten, and as it were touched with the moth; those he commanded to be separated from the rest and placed by themselves. Others gave in their rods dry indeed, but not touched with the moth: these also he ordered to be set by themselves.
8. 7  
Others gave in their rods half dry; these also were set apart. Others gave in their rods half dry and cleft; these too were set by themselves. Others brought in their rods half dry and half green, and these were in like manner placed by themselves.
8. 8  
Others delivered up their rods two parts green, and the third dry; and they too were set apart. Others brought their rods two parts dry, and the third green; and were also placed by themselves.
8. 9  
Others delivered up their rods less dry, (for there was but a very little, to wit, their tops dry) but they had clefts, and these were set in like manner by themselves. In the rods of others there was but a little green, and the rest dry; and these were set aside by themselves.
8. 10  
Others came, and brought their rods green as they had received them, and the greatest part of the people brought their rods thus; and the messenger greatly rejoiced at these, and they also were put apart by themselves.
8. 11  
Others brought in their rods not only green, but full of branches; and these were set aside, being also received by the angel with great joy. Others brought their rods green with branches, and those also some fruit upon them.
8. 12  
They who had such rods, were very cheerful; and the angel himself took great joy at them; nor was the shepherd that stood with me, less pleased with them.
8. 13  
Then the angel of the Lord commanded crowns to be brought: and the crowns were brought made of palms; and the angel crowned those men in whose rods he found the young branches with fruit; and commanded them to go into the tower.
8. 14  
He also sent those into the tower, in whose rods he found branches without fruit, giving a seal unto them. For they had the same garment, that is, one white as snow; with which he bade them go into the tower. And so he did to those who returned their rods green as he had received them; giving them a white garment, and so sent them away to go into the tower.
8. 15  
Having done this, he said to the shepherd that was with me, I go my way; but do thou send these within the walls, every one into the place in which be has deserved to dwell; examining first their rods, but examine them diligently that no one deceive thee. But and if any one shall escape thee, I will try them upon the altar. Having said this to the shepherd, he departed.
8. 16  
After he was gone, the shepherd said unto me: Let us take the rods from them, and plant them; if perchance they may grow green again. I said unto him; Sir, how can those dry rods ever grow green again?
8. 17  
He answered me; That tree is a willow, and always loves to live. If therefore these rods shall be planted, and receive a little moisture, many of them will recover themselves.
8. 18  
Wherefore I will try, and will pour water upon them, and if any of them can live, I will rejoice with him; but if not, at least by this means I shall be found not to have neglected my part.
8. 19  
Then he commanded me to call them; and they all came unto him, every one in the rank in which he stood, and gave him their rods; which having received, he planted every one of them in their several orders.
8. 20  
And after he had planted them all, he poured much water upon them, insomuch that they were covered with water, and did not appear above it. Then when he had watered them, he said unto me; Let us depart, and after a little time we will return and visit them.
8. 21  
For he who created this tree, would have all those live that received rods from it. And I hope now that these rods are thus watered, many of them receiving in the moisture, will recover.
8. 22  
I said unto him, Sir, tell me what this tree denotes? For I am greatly [*242:1] astonished, that after so many branches have been cut off, it seems still to be whole; nor does there any thing the less of it appear to remain, which greatly amazes me.
8. 23  
He answered, Hearken. This great tree which covers the plains and the mountains, and all the earth, is the law of God, published throughout the whole world.
8. 24  
Now [*242:2] this law is the Son of God, who is preached to all the ends of the earth. The people that stand under its shadow, are those which have heard his preaching, and believed.
8. 25  
The great and venerable angel which you saw, was Michael, who has the power over his people, and governs them. For he has planted the law in the hearts of those who have believed; and therefore he visits them to whom he has given the law, to see if they have kept it.
8. 26  
And he examines every one's rod; and of those, many that are weakened: for those rods are the law of the Lord. Then he discerns all those who have not kept the law, knowing the place of every one of them.
8. 27  
I said unto him, Sir, why did he send away some to the tower, and left others here to you? He replied, those who have transgressed the law, which they received from him, are left in my power, that they may repent of their sins: but they who [242:*3] fulfilled the law and kept it, are under his power.
8. 28  
But who then, said I, are those, who went into the tower crowned? He replied all such as having striven with the devil, have overcome him, are crowned: and they are those, who have suffered hard things, that they might keep the law.
8. 29  
But they who gave up their rods green, and with young branches, but without fruit, have indeed endured trouble for the same law, but have not suffered death; neither have they denied their holy law.
8. 30  
They who delivered up their rods green as they received them, are those who were modest and just, and have lived with a very pure mind, and kept the commandments of God.
8. 31  
The rest thou shalt know, when I shall have considered those rods which I have planted and watered.
8. 32  
After a few days we returned, and in the same place stood that glorious angel, and I stood by him, Then he said unto me; Gird thyself with a [*243:1] towel, and serve me.
8. 33  
And I girded myself with a clean towel, which was made of coarse cloth. And when he saw me girded, and ready to minister unto him, he said, Call those men whose rods have been planted, every one in his order as he gave them.
8. 34  
And he brought me into the field, and I called them all, and they all stood ready in their several ranks. Then he said unto them; let every one pluck up his rod, and bring it unto me. And first they delivered theirs, whose rods had been dry and rotten.
8. 35  
And those whose rods still continued so, he commanded to stand apart. Then they came whose rods had been dry but not rotten. Some of these delivered in their rods green; others dry and rotten, as if they had been touched by the moth.
8. 36  
Those who gave them up green, he commanded to stand apart; but those whose rods were dry and rotten, he caused to stand with the first sort. Then came they whose rods had been half dry, and cleft: many of these gave up their rods green, and uncleft.
8. 37  
Others delivered them up green with branches, and fruit upon the branches, like unto those who went crowned into the tower. Others delivered them up dry, but not rotten; and some gave them up as they were before, half dry, and cleft.
8. 38  
Every one of these he ordered to stand apart; some by themselves, others in their respective ranks.
8. 39  
Then came they whose rods had been green, but cleft. These delivered their rods altogether green, and stood in their own order. And the shepherd rejoiced at these, because they were all changed, and free from their clefts.
8. 40  
Then they gave in their rods, who had them half green and half dry. Of these some were found wholly green, others half dry; others green, with young shoots. And all these were sent away, every one to his proper rank.
8. 41  
Then they gave up their rods, who had them before two parts green, and the third dry. Many of those gave in their rods green; many half dry; the rest dry but not rotten. So these were sent away, each to his proper place.
8. 42  
Then came they who had before their rods two parts dry and the third green; many of these delivered up their rods half dry, others dry and rotten; others half dry and cleft; but few green. And all these were set every one in his own rank.
8. 43  
Then they reached in their rods, [*244:1] in which there was before but a little green, and the rest dry. Their rods were for the most part found green, having little boughs, with fruit upon them, and the rest altogether green.
8. 44  
And the shepherd upon sight of these rejoiced exceedingly, because he had found them thus; and they also went to their proper orders.
8. 45  
Now after he had examined all their rods, he said unto me I told thee that this tree loved life: thou seest how many have repented, and attained unto salvation. Sir, said I, I see it.
8. 46  
That thou mightest know, saith he, that the goodness and mercy of the Lord is great, and to be had in honour; who gave his spirit to them that were found worthy of repentance.
8. 47  
I answered, Sir, why then did not all of them repent? He replied, Those whose minds the Lord foresaw would be pure, and that they would serve him with all their hearts, to them he gave repentance.
8. 48  
But for those whose deceit and wickedness he beheld, and perceived that they would not truly return unto him; to them he denied any return unto repentance, lest they should again blaspheme his law with wicked words.
8. 49  
I said unto him; Now, Sir, make known unto me, what is the place of every one of those, who have given up their rods, and what their [*244:2] portion; that when they may have not kept their seal entire, but have wasted the seal which they received, shall hear and believe these things, they may acknowledge their evil deeds and repent;
8. 50  
And receiving again their seal from you, may give glory to God, that he was moved with compassion towards them, and sent you to renew their spirits.

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Chapter 8
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