a book in her hand, and sat alone, and saluted me, saying, Hermas, hail! and I being full of sorrow and weeping, answered, Hail Lady!
18 And she said unto me, Why art thou sad, Hermas, who wert wont to be patient, and modest, and always cheerful? I answered, and said to her, Lady, a reproach has been laid to my charge by an excellent woman, who tells me that I have sinned against her.
19 She replied, Far be any such thing from the servant of God. But it may be the desire of her has risen up in thy heart? For indeed such a thought maketh the servants of God guilty of sin.
20 Nor ought such a detestable thought to be in the servant of God: nor should he who is approved by the Spirit desire that which is evil; but especially Hermas, who contains himself from all wicked lusts, and is full of all simplicity, and of great innocence.
21 Nevertheless the Lord is not so much angry with thee for thine own sake, as upon the account of thy house, which has committed wickedness against the Lord, and against their parents.
22 And for that out of thy fondness towards thy sons, thou hast not admonished thy house, but hast permitted them to live wickedly; for this cause the Lord is angry with thee: but he will heal all the evils that are done in thy house. For through their sins and iniquities, thou art wholly consumed in secular affairs.
23 But now the mercy of God hath taken compassion upon thee, and upon thine house, and hath greatly comforted thee. Only as for thee, do not wander, but be of an even mind, and comfort thy house.
24 As the workman bringing forth his work, offers it to whomsoever he pleaseth; so shalt thou by teaching every day what is just, cut off a great sin. Wherefore cease not to admonish thy sons, for the Lord knows that they will repent with all their heart, and they shall be written in the book of life.
25 And when she had said this, she added unto me; Wilt thou hear me read? I answered her, Lady, I will.
26 Hear then, said she; and opening the book she read, gloriously, greatly. and wonderfully, such things as I could not keep in my memory. For they were terrible words, such as no man could bear.
27 How it be I committed her last words to my remembrance; for they were but few, and of great use to us:--
28 Behold the mighty Lord, who by his invisible power, and with his excellent wisdom made the world, and by his glorious counsel beautified his creature, and with the word of his strength fixed the heaven, and founded the earth upon the waters; and by his powerful virtue established the Holy Church, which he hath blessed.
29 Behold he will remove the heavens, and the mountains, the hills, and the seas; and all things shall be made plain for his elect; that he may render unto them the promise which he has promised, with much honour and joy; if so be that they shall keep the commandments of God, which they have received with great faith.
30 And when she had made an end of reading, she rose out of the chair; and behold four young men came, and carried the chair to the east.
31 And she called me unto her, and touched my breast, and said unto me, Did my reading please thee? I answered, Lady, these last things please me; but what went before was severe and hard.
32 She said unto me, these last