Page:Suppressed Gospels and Epistles.djvu/123

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servant can serve two masters. If therefore we shall desire to serve God and Mammon, it will be without profit to us. For what will it profit, if one gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

6 Now this world and that to come are two enemies. This speaketh of adultery and corruption, of covetousness and deceit; but that renounces these things.

7 We cannot, therefore, be the friends of both; but we must resolve by forsaking the one, to enjoy the other. And we think it is better to hate the present things, as little, short-lived, and corruptible; and to love those which are to come, which are truly good and incorruptible.

8 For, if we do the will of Christ, we shall find rest: but if not, nothing shall deliver us from eternal punishment if we shall disobey his commands. For even thus saith the Scripture in the prophet Ezekiel, If Noah, Job, and Daniel should rise up, they shall not deliver their children in captivity.

9 Wherefore, if such righteous men are not able by their righteousness to deliver their children; how can we hope to enter into the kingdom of God, except we keep our baptism holy and undefiled? Or who shall be our advocate, unless we shall be found to have done what is holy and just?

10 Let us, therefore, my brethren, contend with all earnestness, knowing that our combat is at hand; and that many go long voyages to encounter for a corruptible reward.

11 And yet all are not crowned, but they only that labour much, and strive gloriously. Let us, therefore, so contend, that we may all be crowned. Let us run in the straight road, the race that is incorruptible: and let us in great numbers pass unto it, and strive that we may receive the crown. But if we cannot all be crowned, let us come as near to it as we are able.

12 Moreover, we must consider, that he who contends in a corruptible combat; if he be found doing anything that is not fair, is taken away and scourged, and cast out of the lists. What think ye then that he shall suffer, who does anything that is not fitting in the combat of immortality?

13 Thus speaks the prophet concerning those who keep not their seal; Their worm shall not die, and their, fire shall not be quenched; and they shall be for a spectacle unto all flesh.

14 Let us therefore repent, whilst we are yet upon the earth: for we are as clay in the hand of the artificer. For the potter if he make a vessel, and it be turned amiss in his hands, or broken, again forms it anew; but if he has gone so far as to throw it into the furnace of fire, he can no more bring any remedy to it.

15 So we, whilst we are in this world should repent with our whole heart for whatsoever evil we have done in the flesh; while we have yet the time of repentance, that we may be saved by the Lord.

16 For after we shall have departed out of this world, we shall no longer be able either to confess our sins or repent in the other.

17 Wherefore, brethren, let us, doing the will of the Father, and keeping our flesh pure, and observing the commandments of the Lord, lay hold on eternal life: for the Lord saith in the Gospel, If ye have not kept that which was little, who will give you that which is great?-- For I say unto you, he that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much.

18 This, therefore, is what he saith; keep your bodies pure, and your seal without spot, that ye may receive eternal life.