Page:Suppressed Gospels and Epistles.djvu/222

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about the tower must be made even.

87 And I did as he commanded me, and brought them unto him and he said unto me, Be ready to help me, and this work will quickly be finished.

88 He therefore filled up the spaces of those stones, and commanded the place about the tower to be cleansed.

89 Then those virgins took besoms, and cleansed all the place around, and took away all the rubbish, and threw water on; which being done, the palace became delightful, and the tower beauteous.

90 Then he said unto me, All is now clean if the Lord should come to finish the tower, he will find nothing whereby to complain of us.

91 When he had said this he would have departed. But I laid hold on his bag, and began to entreat him for the Lord's sake, that he would explain to me all things that he had shown me.

92 He said unto me, I have at present a little business; but I will suddenly explain all things unto thee. Tarry here for me till I come.

93 I said unto him, Sir, what shall I do here alone? He answered, Thou art not alone, seeing all these virgins are with thee.

94 I said, Sir, deliver me then unto them. Then he called them and said unto them, I commend this man unto you until I shall come;

95 So I remained with those virgins: now they were cheerful and courteous unto me; especially the four, which seemed to be the chieftest among them.

96 Then those virgins said unto me, that shepherd will not return hither to-day. I said unto them, What then shall I do? They answered, Tarry for him till the evening, if perhaps he may come and speak with thee; but if not, yet thou shalt continue with us till he does come.

97 I said unto them, I will tarry for him till evening; but if he comes not by that time, I will go home, and return hither again the next morning.

98 They answered me, As thou art delivered unto us, thou mayest not depart from us. I said, Where shall I tarry?

99 They replied, Thou shalt sleep with us as a brother, not as a husband; for thou art our brother, and we are ready from henceforth to dwell with thee; for thou art very dear to as.

100 Howbeit I was ashamed to continue with them. But she that seemed to be the chieftest amongst them, embraced me, and began to kiss me. And the rest when they saw that I was kissed by her, began also to kiss me as a brother; and led me about the tower, and played with me.

101 Some of them also sung psalms, others made up the chorus with them. But I walked about the tower with them, rejoicing silently, and seeming to myself to be grown young again.

102 When the evening came on, I would forthwith have gone home, but they withheld me, and suffered me not to depart. Wherefore I continued with them that night near the same tower.

103 So they spread their linen garments upon the ground; and placed me in the middle, nor did they anything else, only they prayed.

104 I also prayed with them without ceasing, nor less than they. Who, when they saw me pray in that manner, rejoiced greatly: and I continued there with their till the next day.

105 And when we had worshipped God, then the shepherd came and said unto them: You have done no injury to this man? They answered, Ask him. I said unto him, Sir, I have received a great deal of satisfaction in that I have remained with them.

106 And he said unto me, How didst