ON AVOIDING FALSEHOOD, AND ON THE
REPENTANCE OF HERMAS FOR HIS DISSIMULATION.
Again he said to me,
"Love the truth, and let nothing but truth proceed from your mouth,
that the spirit which God has placed in your flesh may be found truthful
before all men; and the Lord, who dwelleth in you, will be glorified,
because the Lord is truthful in every word, and in Him is no falsehood.
They therefore who lie deny the Lord, and rob Him, not giving back to
Him the deposit which they have received. For they received from Him a
spirit free from falsehood. If they give him back this spirit
untruthful, they pollute the commandment of the Lord, and become
robbers." On hearing these words, I wept most violently. When he
saw me weeping, he said to me, "Why do you weep?" And I said,
"Because, sir, I know not if I can be saved." "Why?"
said he. And I said, "Because, sir, I never spake a true word in my
life, but have ever spoken cunningly to all, and have affirmed a lie for
the truth to all; and no one ever contradicted me, but credit was given
to my word. How then can I live, since I have acted thus?" And he
said to me, "Your feelings are indeed right and sound, for you
ought as a servant of God to have walked in truth, and not to have
joined an evil conscience with the spirit of truth, nor to have caused
sadness to the holy and true Spirit." s And I said to him,
"Never, sir, did I listen to these words with so much
attention." And he said to me, "Now you hear them, and keep
them, that even the falsehoods which you formerly told in your
transactions may come to be believed through the truthfulness of your
present statements. For even they can become worthy of credit. If you
keep these precepts, and from this time forward you speak nothing but
the truth, it will be possible for you to obtain life. And whosoever
shall hear this commandment, and depart from that great wickedness
falsehood, shall live to God."
Electronic version copyright ｩ
1997 by New Advent, Inc.