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Lightfoot's Apostolic Fathers In English - J. B. Lightfoot, D. D., D.C. L., LL. D.

1. The fourth vision which I saw, brethren, twenty days after the former vision which came unto me, for a type of the impending tribulation. 2I was going into the country by the Campanian Way. From the high road, it is about ten stades; and the place is easy for travelling. 3While then I am walking alone, I entreat the Lord that He will accomblish the revelations and the visions which He showed me through His holy Church, that He may strengthen me and may give repentance to His servants which have stumbled, that His great and glorious Name may be glorified, for that He held me worthy that He should show me His marvels. 4And as I gave glory and thanksgiving to Him, there answered me as it were the sound of a voice, ‘Be not of doubtful mind, Hermas.’ I began to question in myself and to say, ‘How can I be of doubtful mind, seeing that I am so firmly founded by the Lord, and have seen glorious things?’ 5And I went on a little, brethren, and behold, I see a cloud of dust rising as it were to heaven, and I began to say within myself, ‘Can it be that cattle are coming, and raising a cloud of dust?’ for it was just about a stade from me. 6As the cloud of dust waxed greater and greater, I suspected that it was something supernatural. Then the sun shone out a little, and behold, I see a huge beast like some sea-monster, and from its mouth fiery locusts issued forth. And the beast was about a hundred feet in length, and its head was as it were of pottery. 7And I began to weep, and to entreat the Lord that He would rescue me from it. And I remembered the word which had heard, ‘Be not of doubtful mind, Hermas.’ 8Having therefore, brethren, put on the faith of the Lord and called to mind the mighty works that He had taught me, I took courage and gave myself up to the beast. Now the beast was coming on with such a rush, that it might have ruined a city. 9I come near it, and, huge monster as it was, it stretcheth itself on the ground, and merely put forth its tongue, and tirred not at all until I had passed by it. 10And the beast had on its lead four colours; black, then fire and blood colour, then gold, then white.

2. Now after I had passed the beast, and had gone forward about thirty feet, behold, there meeteth me a virgin arrayed as if she were going forth from a bride-chamber, all in white and with white sandals, veiled up to her forehead, and her head-covering consisted of a turban, and her hair was white. 2I knew from the former visions that it was the Church, and I became more cheerful. She saluteth me, saying, ‘Good morrow, my good man’ and I saluted her in turn, ‘Lady, good morrow.” 3She answered and said unto me, ‘Did nothing meet thee?” I say unto her, ‘Lady, such a huge beast, that could have destroyed whole peoples: but, by the power of the Lord and by His great mercy, I escaped it.’ 4‘Thou didst escape it well,’ saith she, because thou didst cast thy care upon God, and didst open thy heart to the Lord, believing that thou canst be saved by nothing else but by His great and glorious Name. Therefore the Lord sent His angel, which is over the beasts, whose name is Segri, and shut its mouth, that it might not hurt thee. Thou hast escaped a great tribulation by reason of thy faith, and because, though thou sawest so huge a beast, thou didst not doubt in thy mind. 5Go therefore, and declare to the elect of the Lord His mighty works, and tell them that this beast is a type of the great tribulation which is to come. If therefore ye prepare yourselves beforehand, and repent (and turn) unto the Lord with your whole heart, ye shall be able to escape it, if your heart be made pure and without blemish, and if for the remaining days of your life ye serve the Lord blamelessly. Cast your cares upon the Lord and He will set them straight. 6Trust ye in the Lord, ye men of doubtful mind, for He can do all things, yea, He both turneth away His wrath from you, and again He sendeth forth His plagues upon you that are of doubtful mind. Woe to them that hear these words and are disobedient; it were better for them that they had not been born.’

3. I asked her concerning the four colours, which the beast had upon its head. Then she answered me and said, “Again thou art curious about such matters. “Yes, lady,” said I, “make known unto me what these things are.” 2“Listen,” said she; “the black is this world in which ye dwell; 3and the fire and blood colour showeth that this world must perish by blood and fire; 4and the golden part are ye that have escaped from this world. For as the gold is tested by the fire and is made useful, so ye also [that dwell in it] are being tested in yourselves. Ye then that abide and pass through the fire will be purified by it. For as the gold loses its dross, so ye also shall cast away all sorrow and tribulation, and shall be purified, and shall be useful for the building of the tower. 5But the white portion is the coming age, in which the elect of God shall dwell; because the elect of God shall be without spot and pure unto life eternal. 6Wherefore cease not thou to speak in the ears of the saints. Ye have now the symbolism also of the tribulation which is coming in power. But if ye be willing, it shall be nought. Remember ye the things that are written beforehand.’ 7With these words she departed, and I saw not in what direction she departed; for a noise was made; and I turned back in fear, thinking that the beast was coming.








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