Page:Suppressed Gospels and Epistles.djvu/156

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to the wild beasts, by whom I shall attain unto God.

3 For I am the wheat of God, and I shall be ground by the teeth of the wild-beasts, that I may be found the pure bread of Christ. Rather encourage the beasts, that they may became my sepulchre, and may let live nothing of my body; that being dead I may not be troublesome to any.

5 Then shall I be truly the disciple of Jesus Christ, when the world shall not see so much as my body. Pray therefore unto Christ for me, that by these instruments I may be made the sacrifice of God.

6 I do not, as Peter and Paul, command you. They were Apostles, I a condemned man; they were free, but I am even to this day a servant:

7 But if I shall suffer, I shall then become the freeman of Jesus Christ, and shall rise free. And now, being in bonds, I learn not to desire any thing.

8 From Syria even unto Rome, I fight with beasts both by sea and land; both night and day: being bound to ten leopards, that is to say, to such a band of soldiers, who, though treated with all manner of kindness, are the worse for it.

9 But I am the more instructed by their injuries; yet am I not therefore justified.

10 May I enjoy the wild beasts that are prepared for me; which also I wish may exercise all their fierceness upon me.

11 And whom for that end I will encourage, that they may be sure to devour me, and not serve me as they have done some, whom out of fear they have not touched. But if they will not do it willingly, I will provoke them to it.

12 Pardon me in this matter; I know what is profitable for me, now I begin to be a disciple. Not shall any thing move me whether visible or invisible, that I may attain to Jesus Christ.

13 Let fire and the cross; let the companies of wild beasts; let breakings of bones, and tearing of members; let the shattering in pieces of the whole body, and all the wicked torments of the devil come upon me; only let me enjoy Jesus Christ.

14 All the ends of the world, and the kingdoms of it, will profit me nothing: I would rather die for Jesus Christ, than rule to the utmost ends of the earth. Him I seek who died for us; him I desire who rose again for us. This is the gain that is laid up for me.

15 Pardon me, my brethren, ye shall not hinder me from living; nor seeing I desire to go to God, may you separate me from him, for the sake of this world;--nor induce me by any of the desires of it. Suffer me to enter into pure light, where being come, I shall be indeed the servant of God.

16 Permit me to imitate the passion of my God. If any one has God within himself, let him consider what I desire; and let him have compassion on me, as knowing how I am straightened.


Further expresses his desire to suffer.

THE prince of this world would fain carry me away, and corrupt my resolution towards my