AS IN SUMMER LIVING TREES ARE
DISTINGUISHED FROM WITHERED BY FRUIT AND LIVING LEAVES, SO IN THE WORLD TO COME
THE JUST DIFFER FROM THE UNJUST IN HAPPINESS.
He showed me again many trees,
some budding, and others withered. And he said to me, "Do you see these
trees?" "I see, sir," I replied, "some putting forth buds,
and others withered." "Those," he said, "which are budding
are the righteous who are to live in the world to come; for the coming world is
the summer of the righteous, but the winter of sinners. When, therefore, the
mercy of the Lord shines forth, then shall they be made manifest who are the
servants of God, and all men shall be made manifest. For as in summer the fruits
of each individual tree appear, and it is ascertained of what sort they are, so
also the fruits of the righteous shall be manifest, and all who have been
fruitful in that world shall be made known. But the heathen and sinners, like
the withered trees which you saw, will be found to be those who have been
withered and unfruitful in that world, and shall be burnt as wood, and made
manifest, because their actions were evil during their lives. For the sinners
shall be consumed because they sinned and did not repent, and the heathen shall
be burned because they knew not Him who created them. Do you therefore bear
fruit, that in that summer your fruit may be known. And refrain from much
business, and you will never sin: for they who are occupied with much business
commit also many sins, being distracted about their affairs, and not at all
serving their Lord. How, then," he continued, "can such a one ask and
obtain anything from the Lord, if he serve Him not? They who serve Him shall
obtain their requests, but they who serve Him not shall receive nothing. And in
the performance even of a single action a man can serve the Lord; for his mind
will not be perverted from the Lord, but he will serve Him, having a pure mind.
If, therefore, you do these things, you shall be able to bear fruit for the life
to come. And every one who will do these things shall bear fruit."
Electronic version copyright ｩ
1997 by New Advent, Inc.