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The Paradise Of The Holy Fathers Volumes 1 and 2 by Saint Athanasius Of Alexandria

AND it came to pass that when he had said these things, Abbâ Pachomius heard a voice saying, “Thou boastest thyself, O Pachomius. Thou art a man. Ask mercy for thyself, because everything standeth by compassion.” Now when the blessed man heard these things, he straightway threw himself on his face upon the ground, and he asked God for mercy, saying, “O Lord, Who dost sustain the universe, send Thy mercies to me, and take Thou them never away from me, for I know that without Thy mercy nothing can possibly exist.” And having said these words straightway there stood by his side two angels of God, and there was with them a Young Man, Who had a face which is unspeakable, and an appearance which cannot be described, and on His head was a crown of thorns. Then the angels made Pachomius to stand up, and they said unto him, “Because thou hast asked God to send thee His mercy, behold, this is His mercy, the Lord of glory, Jesus Christ, the Only One, His Son, Whom He sent into the world, and Whom ye crucified; and ye set a crown of thorns upon His head.” And Pachomius said unto the Young Man, “I entreat Thee, O my Lord, and Thy holy nature, [to remember] that I did not crucify Thee.” Then the Young Man relaxed His face a little in a smile, and said unto him, “I know that thou didst not crucify Me, but thy fathers did; be of good courage, however, for the root of thy seed shall never come to an end, and thy seed shall be preserved upon the earth even unto the end of the world. And the seeds which shall burst into life in those times, through the abundance of darkness shall be found to be more excellent than those of this present time, and they shall be more completely subject to rule; for at this present, because thou art unto them as a light which is before the eyes, they lead lives of great excelence and according to rule, and they lean upon thy light. But those who shall come after them, and who shall live in a region of darkness, if with a good intent and from the mind voluntarily they run towards the truth, even though no man directeth them, they shall from out of the darkness draw nigh unto the truth; verily, I say unto thee, that they shall be free and shall be with those who now lead a blameless life of the highest character, and they shall be held to be worthy of forgiveness.”

Then having said these things straightway the Young Man went [up into] the heavens, and the heavens were opened, and the air shone so brightly that it is impossible for us to describe with human words the splendour of that light. And when Rabbâ had marvelled at the things which he had heard, straightway they beat [the board to summon] the brethren to the service of the night.








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