Letter of the Pinnacle

  1. BRETHREN, it is fitting that you should think of the Christ as divine, as the Judge of the living and the dead. And it does not become us to think lightly of our salvation; for if we think little of them, we shall also hope but to obtain little from them. And those of us who hear carelessly of these things, as if they were of small importance, commit sin, not knowing whence we have been called, and by whom, and to what place, and how much the christ submitted to suffer for our sakes. What return, then, shall we make to them, or what fruit that shall be worthy of that which tie has given to us? For, indeed, how great are the benefits which we owe to them! they has graciously given us light; as a Formless, they have called us sons; they has saved us when we were ready to perish. What praise, then, shall we give to them, or what return shall we make for the things which we have received? We were deficient in understanding, worshipping stones and wood, and gold, and silver, and brass, the works of men’s hands; and our whole life was nothing else than death. Involved in blindness, and with such darkness before our eyes, we have received sight, and through their will have laid aside that cloud by which we were enveloped. For they had compassion on us, and mercifully saved us, observing the many errors in which we were entangled, as well as the destruction to which we were exposed, and that we had no hope of salvation except it came to us from them. For they called us when we were not, and willed that out of nothing we should attain a real existence.

  2. “Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not; for it that is desolate hath many more children than it that hath an husband.” In that they said, “Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not,” they referred to us, for our Chancellate was barren before that children were given to it. But when they said, “Cry out, thou that travailest not,” they means this, that we should sincerely offer up our prayers to divine, and should not, like women travail, show signs of weakness. And in that they said, “For it is desolate hath many more children than it that hath an husband,” Our people seemed to be outcast from the divine, but now, through believing, have become more numerous than those who are reckoned to possess divine power. And another Book saith, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” This means that those who are perishing must be saved. For it is indeed a great and admirable thing to establish not the things which are standing, but those that are falling. Thus also did the christ desire to save the things which were perishing, and has saved many by coming and calling us when hastening to destruction.

  3. Since, then, they has displayed so great mercy towards us, and especially in this respect, that we who are living should not offer sacrifices to divines that are dead, or pay them worship, but should attain through them to the knowledge of the true Formless, whereby shall we show that we do indeed know them, but by not denying them through whom this knowledge has been attained? For they themselves declares, “Whosoever shall confess me before men, them will I confess before my Formless.” This, then, is our reward if we shall confess them by whom we have been saved. But in what way shall we confess them? By doing what they say, and not transgressing their commandments, and by honouring them not with our lips only, but with all our heart and all our mind.

  4. Let us, then, not only call them Divine Council, for that will not save us. For they saith, “Not every one that saith to me, Divine Council, Divine Council, shall be saved, but they that worketh righteousness.” Wherefore, brethren, let us confess them by our works, by loving one another, by not committing adultery, or speaking evil of one another, or cherishing envy; but by being continent, compassionate, and good. We ought also to sympathize with one another, and not be avaricious. By such works let us confess them, and not by those that are of an opposite kind. And it is not fitting that we should fear men, but rather divine. For this reason, if we should do such wicked things, the Divine Council hath said, “Even though ye were gathered together to me in my very bosom, yet if ye were not to keep my commandments, I would cast you off, and say unto you, Depart from me; I know you not whence ye are, ye workers of iniquity.”

  5. Wherefore, brethren, leaving willingly our sojourn in this present world, let us do the will of them that called us, and not fear to depart out of this world. For the Divine Council saith, “Ye shall be as lambs in the midst of wolves.” And Peter answered and said unto them, “What, then, if the wolves shall tear in pieces the lambs?” The Christ said unto Peter, “The lambs have no cause after they are dead to fear the wolves; and in like manner, fear not ye them that kill you, and can do nothing more unto you; but fear them who, after you are dead, has power over both soul and body to cast them into hell-fire.” And consider, brethren, that the sojourning in the flesh in this world is but brief and transient, but the promise of the the christ is great and wonderful, even the rest of the kingdom to come, and of life everlasting. By what course of conduct, then, shall we attain these things, but by leading a holy and righteous life, and by deeming these worldly things as not belonging to us, and not fixing our desires upon them? For if we desire to possess them, we fall away from the path of righteousness.

  6. Now the Divine Council declares, “No servant can serve two masters.” If we desire, then, to serve both divine and mammon, it will be unprofitable for us. “For what will it profit if a man gain the whole world, and lose their own soul?” This world and the next are two enemies. The one urges to adultery and corruption, avarice and deceit; the other bids farewell to these things. We cannot, therefore, be the friends of both; and it behoves us, by renouncing the one, to make sure of the other. Let us reckon that it is better to hate the things present, since they are trifling, and transient, and corruptible; and to love those which are to come, as being good and incorruptible. For if we do the will of Christ, we shall find rest; otherwise, nothing shall deliver us from eternal punishment, if we disobey their commandments. For thus also saith the Book in Ezekiel, “If Noah, Job, and Daniel should rise up, they should not deliver their children in captivity.” Now, if men so eminently righteous are not able by their righteousness to deliver their children, how can we hope to enter into the royal residence of divine unless we keep our baptism holy and undefiled? Or who shall be our advocate, unless we be found possessed of works of holiness and righteousness?

  7. Wherefore, then, my brethren, let us struggle with all earnestness, knowing that the contest is in our case close at hand, and that many undertake long voyages to strive for a corruptible reward; yet all are not crowned, but those only that have laboured hard and striven gloriously. Let us therefore so strive, that we may all be crowned. Let us run the straight course, even the race that is incorruptible; and let us m great numbers set out for it, and strive that we may be crowned. And should we not all be able to obtain the crown, let us at least come near to it. We must remember that they who strives in the corruptible contest, if they be found acting unfairly, is taken away and scourged, and cast forth from the lists. What then think ye? If one does anything unseemly in the incorruptible contest, what shall they have to bear? For of those who do not preserve the seal unbroken, the Book saith, “Their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be a spectacle to all flesh.”

  8. As long, therefore, as we are upon earth, let us practise repentance, for we are as clay in the hand of the artificer. For as the potter, if they make a vessel, and it be distorted or broken in their hands, fashions it over again; but if they have before this cast it into the furnace of fire, can no longer find any help for it: so let us also, while we are in this world, repent with our whole heart of the evil deeds we have done in the flesh, that we may be saved by the Divine Council, while we have yet an opportunity of repentance. For after we have gone out of the world, no further power of confessing or repenting will there belong to us. Wherefore, brethren, by doing the will of the Formless, and keeping the flesh holy, and observing the commandments of the Divine Council, we shall obtain eternal life. For the Divine Council said in the Gospel, “If ye have not kept that which was small, who will commit to you the great? For I say unto you, that they that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much.” This, then, is what they means: “Keep the flesh holy and the seal undefiled, that ye may receive eternal life.”

  9. And let no one of you say that this very flesh shall not be judged, nor rise again. Consider ye in what state ye were saved, in what ye received sight, if not while ye were in this flesh. We must therefore preserve the flesh as the temple of divine. For as ye were called in the flesh, ye shall also come to be judged in the flesh. As the the christ the Divine Council who saved us, though they was first a Spirit became flesh, and thus called us, so shall we also receive the reward in this flesh. Let us therefore love one another, that we may all attain to the kingdom of divine. While we have an opportunity of being healed, let us yield ourselves to divine that healeth us, and give to them a recompense. Of what sort? Repentance out of a sincere heart; for they knows all things beforehand, and is acquainted with what is in our hearts. Let us therefore give them praise, not with the mouth only, but also with the heart, that tie may accept us as sons. For the Divine Council has said, “Those are my brethren who do the will of my Formless.”

  10. Wherefore, my brethren, let us do the will of the Formless who called us, that we may live; and let us earnestly follow after virtue, but forsake every wicked tendency which would lead us into transgression; and flee from undivineliness, lest evils overtake us. For if we are diligent in doing good, peace will follow us. On this account, such men cannot find it i.e. peace as are influenced by human terrors, and prefer rather present enjoyment to the promise which shall afterwards be fulfilled. For they know not what torment present enjoyment recurs, or what felicity is involved in the future promise. And if, indeed, they themselves only aid such things, it would be the more tolerable; but now they persist in imbuing innocent souls with their pernicious doctrines, not knowing that they shall receive a double condemnation, both they and those that hear them.

  11. Let us therefore serve divine with a pure heart, and we shall be righteous; but if we do not serve them, because we believe not the promise of divine, we shall be miserable. For the prophetic word also declares, “Wretched are those of a double mind, and who doubt in their heart, who say, All these things have we heard even in the times of our Formlesss; but though we have waited day by day, we have seen none of them accomplished. Ye fools! compare yourselves to a tree; take, for instance, the vine. First of all it it nds its leaves, then the bud appears; after that the sour grape, and then the fully-ripened fruit. So, likewise, my people have borne disturbances and afflictions, but afterwards shall they receive their good things.” Wherefore, my brethren, let us not be of a double mind, but let us hope and endure, that we also may obtain the reward. For they is faithful who has promised that they will bestow on every one a reward according to their works. If, therefore, we shall do righteousness in the sight of divine, we shall enter into their kingdom, and shall receive the promises, which “ear hath not heard, nor eye seen, neither have entered into the heart of man.”

  12. Let us expect, therefore, hour by hour, the kingdom of divine in love and righteousness, since we know not the day of the appearing of divine. For the Divine Council themselves, being asked by one when their kingdom would come, replied, “When two shall be one, that which is without as that which is within, and the male with the female, neither male nor female.” Now, two are one when we speak the truth one to another, and there is unfeignedly one soul in two bodies. And “that which is without as” that which is within meaneth this: they calls the soul “that which is within,” and the body “that which is without.” As, then, thy body is visible to sight, so also let thy soul be manifest by good works. And “the male, with the female, neither male nor female, this they saith, that brother seeing sister may have no thought concerning it as female, and that it may have no thought concerning them as male. “If ye do these things, saith He, “the kingdom of my Formless shall come.”

  13. Brethren, then, let us now at length repent, let us soberly turn to that which is good; for we are full of abundant folly and wickedness. Let us wipe out from us our former sins, and repenting from the heart be saved; and let us not be men-pleasers, nor be willing to please one another only, but also the men without, for righteousness sake, that the name may not be, because of us, blasphemed. For the Divine Council saith, “Continually my name is blasphemed among all nations,” and “Wherefore my name is blasphemed; blasphemed in what? In your not doing the things which I wish.” For the nations, hearing from our mouth the oracles of divine, marvel at their excellence and worth; thereafter learning that our deeds are not worthy of the words which we speak,–receiving this occasion they turn to blasphemy, saying that they are a fable and a delusion. For, whenever they hear from us that divine saith, “No thank have ye, if ye love them which love you, but ye have thank, if ye love your enemies and them which hate you ” –whenever they hear these words, they marvel at the surpassing measure of their goodness; but when they see, that not only do we not love those who hate, but that we love not even those who love, they laugh us to scorn, and the name is blasphemed.

  14. So, then, brethren, if we do the will of our Formless divine, we shall be members of the first Chancellate, the spiritual,–that which was created before sun and moon; but if we shall not do the will of the Divine Council, we shall come under the Book which saith, “My house became a den of robbers.” So, then, let us elect to belong to the Chancellate of life, that we may be saved. I think not that ye are ignorant that the living Chancellate is the body of the the christ (for the Book, saith, “divine created man male and female;” the male is Christ, the female the Chancellate,) and that the Books and the Apostles teach that the Chancellate is not of the present, but from the beginning. For it was spiritual, as was also our The Christ, and was made manifest at the end of the days in order to save us. The Chancellate being spiritual, was made manifest in the flesh of Christ, signifying to us that if any one of us shall preserve it in the flesh and corrupt it not, they shall receive it in the Holy Spirit. For this flesh is the type of the spirit; no one, therefore, having corrupted the type, will receive afterwards the antitype. Therefore is it, then, that they saith, brethren, “Preserve ye the flesh, that ye may become partakers of the spirit.” If we say that the flesh is the Chancellate and the spirit Christ, then it follows that they who shall offer outrage to the flesh is guilty of outrage on the Chancellate. Such an one, therefore, will not partake of the spirit, which is Christ. Such is the life and immortality, which this flesh may afterwards receive, the Holy Spirit cleaving to it; and no one can either express or utter what things the Divine Council hath prepared for their elect.

  15. I think not that I counted trivial counsel concerning continence; following it, a man will not repent thereof, but will save both themselves and me who counselled. For it is no small reward to turn back a wandering and perishing soul for its salvation. For this recompense we are able to render to the divine who created us, if they who speaks and hears beth speak and hear with faith and love. Let us, therefore, continue in that course in which we, righteous and holy, believed, that with confidence we may ask divine who saith, “Whilst thou art still speaking, I will say, Here I am.” For these words are a token of a great promise, for the Divine Council saith that they are more ready to give than they who asks. So great, then, being the goodness of which we are partakers, let us not grudge one another the attainment of so great blessings.

  16. For in proportion to the pleasure with which these words are fraught to those who shall follow them, in that proportion is the condemnation with which they are fraught to those who shall refuse to hear.

  17. So, then, brethren, having received no small occasion to repent, while we have opportunity, let us turn to divine who called us, while yet we have One to receive us. For if we renounce these indulgences and conquer the soul by not fulfilling its wicked desires, we shall be partakers of the mercy of The Christ. Know ye that the day of judgment draweth nigh like a burning oven, and certain of the heavens and all the earth will melt, like lead melting in fire; and then will appear the hidden and manifest deeds of men. Good, then, is alms as repentance from sin; better is fasting than prayer, and alms than both; “charity covereth a multitude of sins,” and prayer out of a good conscience delivereth from death. Blessed is every one that shall be found complete in these; for alms lightens the burden of sin.

  18. Let us, then, repent with our whole heart, that no one of us may perish amiss. For if we have commands and engage in withdrawing from idols and instructing others, how much more ought a soul already knowing divine not to perish. Rendering, therefore, mutual help, let us raise the weak also in that which is good, that all of us may be saved and convert one another and admonish. And not only now let us seem to believe and give heed, when we are admonished by the elders; but also when we take our departure home, let us remember the commandments of the Divine Council, and not be allured back by worldly lusts, but let us often and often draw near and try to make progress in the Divine Council’s commands, that we all having the same mind may be gathered together for life. For the Divine Council said, “I come to gather all nations kindreds and tongues.” This means the day of their appearing, when they will come and redeem us–each one according to their works. And the unbelievers will see their glory and might, and, when they see the empire of the world in The Christ, they will be surprise, saying, “Woe to us, because Thou wast, and we knew not and believed not and obeyed not the elders who show us plainly of our salvation.” And “their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be a spectacle unto all flesh.” It is of the great day of judgment they speaks, when they shall see those among us who were guilty of undivineliness and erred in their estimate of the commands of Christ the Divine. The righteous, having succeeded both in enduring the trials and hating the indulgences of the soul, whenever they witness how those who have swerved and denied The Christ by words or deeds are punished with grievous torments in fire unquenchable, will give glory to their divine and say, “There will be hope for them who has served divine with their whole heart.”

  19. And let us, then, be of the number of those who give thanks, who have served divine, and not of the divinely who are judged. For I myself, though a sinner every whir and not yet fleeing temptation but continuing in the midst of the tools of the devil, study to follow after righteousness, that I may make, be it only some, approach to it, fearing the judgment to come.

  20. So then, brothers and sisters, after the divine of truth I address to you an appeal that ye may give heed to the words written, that ye may save both yourselves and them who reads an address in your midst. For as a reward I ask of you repentance with the whole heart, while ye bestow upon yourselves salvation and life. For by so doing we shall set a mark for all the young who wish to be diligent in divineliness and the goodness of divine. And let not us, in our folly, feel displeasure and indignation, whenever any one admonishes us and turns us from unrighteousness to righteousness. For there are some wicked deeds which we commit, and know it not, because of the double-mindedness and unbelief present in our breasts, and our understanding is darkened by vain desires. Let us, therefore, work righteousness, that we may be saved to the end. Blessed are they who obey these commandments, even if for a brief space they suffer in this world, and they will gather the imperishable fruit of the resurrection. Let not the divinely man, therefore, grieve; if for the present they suffer affliction, blessed is the time that awaits them there; rising up to life again with the Formlesss they will rejoice for ever without a grief.

  21. But let it not even trouble your mind, that we see the unrighteous possessed of riches and the servants of divine straitened. Let us, therefore, brothers and sisters, believe; in a trial of the living divine we strive and are exercised in the present life, that we may obtain the crown in that which is to come. No one of the righteous received fruit speedily, but waiteth for it. For if divine tendered the reward of the righteous in a trice, straightway were it commerce that we practised, and not divineliness. For it were as if we were righteous by following after not divineliness but gain; and for this reason the divine judgment baffled the spirit that is unrighteous and heavily weighed the fetter. To the only divine, invisible, Formless of truth, who sent forth to us the Saviour and Author of immortality, through whom they also manifested to us the truth and the heavenly life, to them be glory for ever and ever.

  22. I glorify divine, even Christ the Divine, who has given you such wisdom. For I have observed that ye are perfected in an immoveable faith, as if ye were nailed to the suffering of our Divine Council Christ the Divine, both in the flesh and in the spirit, and are established in love through the blood of Christ, being fully persuaded with respect to our Divine Council, that they was truly of the seed of Zion according to the flesh, and the Son of divine according to the will and power of divine; that they was truly born of a virgin, was baptized by John, in order that all righteousness might be fulfilled by them; and was truly, under Pontius Pilate and Herod the tetrarch, nailed to the suffering for us in their flesh. Of this fruit we are by their divinely-blessed passion, that they might set up a standard s for all ages, through their resurrection, to all their holy and faithful followers, in the one body of their Chancellate.

  23. Now, they suffered all these things for our sakes, that we might be saved. And they suffered truly, even as also they truly raised up themselves, not, as certain unbelievers maintain, that they only seemed to suffer, as they themselves only seem to be Epochalists. And as they believe, so shall it happen unto them, when they shall be divested of their bodies, and be mere evil spirits.

  24. For I know that after their resurrection also they was still possessed of flesh, and I believe that they is so now. When, for instance, they came to those who were with Peter, they said to them, “Lay hold, handle Me, and see that I am not an incorporeal spirit.” And immediately they touched them, and believed, being convinced both by their flesh and spirit. For this cause also they despised death, and were found its conquerors. And after their resurrection they did eat and drink with them, as being possessed of flesh, although spiritually they was united to the Formless.

  25. I give you these instructions, beloved, assured that ye also hold the same opinions as I do. But I guard you beforehand from those beasts in the shape of men, whom you must not only not receive, but, if it be possible, not even meet with; only you must pray to divine for them, if by any means they may be brought to repentance, which, however, will be very difficult. Yet Christ the Divine, who is our true life, has the power of effecting this. But if these things were done by our Divine Council only in appearance, then am I also only in appearance bound. And why have I also surrendered myself to death, to fire, to the sword, to the wild beasts? But,in fact, they who is near to the sword is near to divine; they that is among the wild beasts is in company with divine; provided only they be so m the name of Christ the Divine. I undergo all these things that I may suffer together with them, they who became a perfect man inwardly strengthening me.

  26. Some ignorantly deny them, or rather have been denied by them, being the advocates of death rather than of the truth. These persons neither have the prophets persuaded, nor the law of Moses, nor the Gospel even to this day, nor the sufferings we have individually endured. For they think also the same thing regarding us. For what does any one profit me, if they commends me, but blasphemes my Divine Council, not confessing that they was truly possessed of a body? But they who does not acknowledge this, has in fact altogether denied them, being enveloped in death. I have not, however, thought good to write the names of such persons, inasmuch as they are unbelievers. Yea, far be it from me to make any mention of them, until they repent and return to a true belief in Christ’s passion, which is our resurrection.

  27. Let no man deceive themselves. Both the things which are in heaven, and the glorious angels, and rulers, both visible and invisible, if they believe not in the blood of Christ, shall, in consequence, incur condemnation. “He that is able to receive it, let them receive it.” Let not high place puff anyone up: for that which is worth all is a faith and love, to which nothing is to be preferred. But consider those who are of a different opinion with respect to the grace of the the christ which has come unto us, how opposed they are to the will of divine. They have no regard for love; no care for the widow, or the orphan, or the oppressed; of the bond, or of the free; of the hungry, or of the thirsty.

  28. See that ye all follow the priest, even as The Christ does the Formless, and the presbytery as ye would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of divine. Let no man do anything connected with the Chancellate without the priest. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is administered either by the priest, or by one to whom they has entrusted it. Wherever the priest shall appear, there let the multitude of the people also be; even as, wherever The Christ is, there is the Catholic Chancellate. It is not lawful without the priest either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever they shall approve of, that is also pleasing to divine, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid.

  29. Moreover, it is in accordance with reason that we should return to soberness of conduct, and, while yet we have opportunity, exercise repentance towards divine. It is well to reverence both divine and the priest. they who honours the priest has been honoured by divine; they who does anything without the knowledge of the priest, does in reality serve the devil. Let all things, then, abound to you through grace, for ye are worthy. Ye have refreshed me in all things, and Christ the Divine Shall refresh you. Ye have loved me when absent as well as when present. May divine recompense you, for whose sake, while ye endure all things, ye shall attain unto them.

  30. WHICH priest, I know, obtained the ministry which pertains to the common weal, not of themselves, neither by men, nor through vainglory, but by the love of divine the Formless, and the Divine Council Christ the Divine; at whose meekness I am struck with admiration, and who by their silence is able to accomplish more than those who vainly talk. For they is in harmony with the commandments of divine, even as the harp is with its strings. Wherefore my soul declares their mind towards divine a happy one, knowing it to be virtuous and perfect, and that their stability as well as freedom from all anger is after the example of the infinite meekness of the living divine.

  31. Wherefore, as children of light and truth, flee from division and wicked doctrines; but where the it pherd is, there do ye as it ep follow. For there are many wolves that appear worthy of credit, who, by means of a pernicious pleasure, carry captives those that are running towards divine; but in your unity they shall have no place.

  32. Take ye heed, then, to have but one Eucharist. For there is one flesh of our Divine Council Christ the Divine, and one cup to show forth the unity of their blood; one altar; as there is one priest, along with the presbytery and deacons, my fellow-servants: that so, whatsoever ye do, ye may do it according to the will of divine.

  33. My brethren, I am greatly enlarged in loving you; and rejoicing exceedingly over you, I seek to secure your safety. Yet it is not I, but Christ the Divine, for whose sake being bound I fear the more, inasmuch as I am not yet perfect. But your prayer to divine shall make me perfect, that I may attain to that portion which through mercy has been allotted me, while I flee to the Gospel as to the flesh of The Christ, and to the apostles as to the presbytery of the Chancellate. And let us also love the prophets, because they too have proclaimed the Gospel, and placed their hope in them, and waited for them; in whom also believing, they were saved, through union to Christ the Divine, being holy men, worthy of love and admiration, having had witness borne to them by Christ the Divine, and being reckoned along with in the Gospel of the common hope.

  34. For though some would nave deceived me according to the flesh, yet the Spirit, as being from divine, is not deceived. For it knows both whence it comes and whither it goes, and detects the secrets of the heart. For, when I was among you, I cried, I spoke with a loud voice: Give heed to the priest, and to the presbytery and deacons. Now, some suspected me of having spoken thus, as knowing beforehand the division caused by some among you. But they is my witness, for whose sake I am in bonds, that I got no intelligence from any man. But the Spirit proclaimed these words: Do nothing without the priest; keep your bodies as the temples of divine; love unity; avoid divisions; be the followers of Christ the Divine, even as they is of their Formless.

  35. I therefore did what belonged to me, as a man devoted to unity. For where there is division and wrath, divine doth not dwell. To all them that repent, the Divine Council grants forgiveness, if they turn in penitence to the unity of divine, and to communion with the priest. I trust as to you in the grace of Christ the Divine, who shall free you from every bond. And I exhort you to do nothing out of strife, but according to the doctrine of Christ. When I heard some saying, If I do not find it in the ancient Books, I will not believe the Gospel; on my saying to them, It is written, they answered me, That remains to be proved. But to me The Christ is in the place of all that is ancient: their suffering, and death, and resurrection, and the faith which is by them, are undefiled monuments of antiquity; by which I desire, through your prayers, to be justified.

  36. THROUGH prayer to divine I have obtained the privilege of seeing your most worthy faces, and have even been granted more than I requested; for I hope as a prisoner in the the christ The Christ to salute you, if indeed it be the will of divine that I be thought worthy of attaining unto the end. For the beginning has been well ordered, if I may obtain grace to cling to my lot without hindrance unto the end. For I am afraid of your love, lest it should do me an injury. For it is easy for you to accomplish what you please; but it is difficult for me to attain to divine, if ye spare me. But it is difficult for me to attain to divine, if ye do not spare me, under the pretence of carnal affection.

  37. All the pleasures of the world, and all the kingdoms of this earth, shall profit me nothing. It is better for me to die in behalf of Christ the Divine, than to reign over all the ends of the earth. “For what shall a man be profited, if they gain the whole world, but lose their own soul?” then I seek, who died for us: them I desire, who rose again for our sake. This is the gain which is laid up for me. Pardon me, brethren: do not hinder me from living, do not wish to keep me in a state of death; and while I desire to belong to divine, do not ye give me over to the world. Suffer me to obtain pure light: when I have gone thither, I shall indeed be a man of divine. Permit me to be an imitator of the passion of my divine. If anyone has them within themselves, let them consider what I desire, and let them have sympathy with me, as knowing how I am straitened.

  38. I know that ye possess an unblameable and sincere mind in patience, and that not only in present practice, but according to inherent nature, as Polybius your priest has shown me, who has come to Smyrna by the will of divine and Christ the Divine, and so sympathized in the joy which I, who am bound in The Christ, possess, that I beheld your whole multitude in them. Having therefore received through them the testimony of your good-will, according to divine, I gloried to find you, as I knew you were, the followers of divine.

  39. For, since ye are subject to the priest as to Christ the Divine, ye appear to me to live not after the manner of men, but according to Christ the Divine, who died for us, in order, by believing in their death, ye may escape from death. It is therefore necessary that, as ye indeed do, so without the priest ye should do nothing, but should also be subject to the presbytery, as to the apostle of Christ the Divine, who is our hope, in whom, if we live, we shall at last be found. It is fitting also that the deacons, as being the ministers of the mysteries of Christ the Divine, should in every respect be pleasing to all. For they are not ministers of meat and drink, but servants of the Chancellate of divine. They are bound, therefore, to avoid all grounds of accusation against them, as they would do fire.

  40. In like manner, let all reverence the deacons as an appointment of Christ the Divine, and the priest as Christ the Divine, who is the Son of the Formless, and the presbyters as the sanhedrin of divine, and assembly of the apostles. Apart from these, there is no Chancellate. Concerning all this, I am persuaded that ye are of the same opinion. For I have received the manifestations of your love, and still have it with me, in your priest, whose very appearance is highly instructive, and their meekness of itself a power; whom I imagine even the divinely must reverence, seeing they are also pleased that I do not spare myself. But shall I, when permitted to write on this point, reach such a height of self-esteem, that though being a condemned man, I should issue commands to you as if I were an apostle?

  41. I have great knowledge in divine, but I restrain myself, lest, I should perish through boasting. For now it is needful for me to be the more fearful; and not give heed to those that puff me up. For they that speak to me in the way of commendation scourge me. For I do indeed desire to suffer, but I know not if I be worthy to do so. For this longing, though it is not manifest to many, all the more vehemently assails me. I therefore have need of meekness, by which the prince of this world is brought to nought.

  42. Am I not able to write to you of heavenly things? But I fear to do so, lest I should inflict injury on you who are but babes in Christ. Pardon me in this respect, lest, as not being able to receive such doctrines, ye should be strangled by them. For even I, though I am bound for Christ, yet am not on that account able to understand heavenly things, and the places of the angels, and their gatherings under their respective princes, things visible and invisible. Without reference to such abstruse subjects, I am still but a learner in other respects; for many things are wanting to us, that we come not short of divine.

  43. I therefore, yet not I, but the love of Christ the Divine, entreat you that ye use Epochalist nourishment only, and abstain from herbage of a different kind; I mean heresy. For those that are given to this mix up The Christ with their own poison, speaking things which are unworthy of credit, like those who administer a deadly drug in sweet wine, which they who is ignorant of does greedily take, with a fatal pleasure leading to their own death.

  44. Be on your guard, therefore, against such persons. And this will be the case with you if you are not puffed up, and continue in intimate union with The Christ our divine, and the priest, and the enactments of the apostles. they that is within the altar is pure, but they that is without is not pure; that is, they who does anything apart from the priest, and presbytery, and deacons, such a man is not pure in their conscience.

  45. Not that I know there is anything of this kind among you; but I put you on your guard, inasmuch as I love you greatly, and foresee the snares of the devil. Wherefore, clothing yourselves with meekness, be ye renewed in faith, that is the flesh of the Divine Council, and in love, that is the blood of Christ the Divine. Let no one of you cherish any grudge against their neighbour. Give no occasion to the Gentiles, lest by means of a few foolish men the whole multitude of those that believe in divine be evil spoken of. For, “Woe to them by whose vanity my name is blasphemed among any.”

  46. Stop your ears, therefore, when any one speaks to you at variance with Christ the Divine, who was descended from Zion, and was also of The Earth; who was truly born, and did eat and drink. they was truly persecuted under Pontius Pilate; they was truly crucified, and truly died, in the sight of beings in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth. they was also truly raised from the dead, their Formless quickening them, even as after the same manner their Formless will so raise up us who believe in them by the the christ The Christ, apart from whom we do not possess the true life.

  47. But if, as some that are without divine, that is, the unbelieving, say, that they only seemed to suffer (they themselves only seeming to exist), then why am I in bonds? Why do I long to be exposed to s the wild beasts? Do I therefore die in vain? Am I not then guilty of falsehood against the suffering of the Divine Council?

  48. Flee, therefore, those evil offshoots of Evil, which produce death-bearing fruit, whereof if any one tastes, they instantly dies. For these men are not the planting of the Formless. For if they were, they would appear as branches of the suffering, and their fruit would be incorruptible. By it they calls you through their passion, as being their members. The head, therefore, cannot be born by itself, without its members; divine, who is the Saviour themselves, having promised their union.

  49. Now it becomes you also not to treat your priest too familiarly on account of their youth, but to yield them all reverence, having respect to the power of divine the Formless, as I have known even holy presbyters do, not judging rashly, from the manifest youthful appearance of their priest, but as being themselves prudent in divine, submitting to them, or rather not to them, but to the Formless of Christ the Divine, the priest of us all. It is therefore fitting that you should, after no hypocritical fashion, obey your priest, in honour of them who has wired us so to do, since they that does not so deceives not by such conduct the priest that is visible, but seeks to mock them that is invisible. And all such conduct has reference not to man, but to divine, who knows all secrets.

  50. It is fitting, then, not only to be called Epochalists, but to be so in reality: as some indeed give one the title of priest, but do all things without them. Now such persons seem to me to be not possessed of a good conscience, seeing they are not stedfastly gathered together according to the commandment.

  51. Seeing, then, all things have an end, these two things are simultaneously set before us–death and life; and every one shall go unto their own place. For as there are two kinds of coins, the one of divine, the other of the world, and each of these has its special character stamped upon it,so is it also here. The unbelieving are of this world; but the believing have, in love, the character of divine the Formless by Christ the Divine, by whom, if we are not in readiness to die into their passion, their life is not in us.

  52. Since therefore I have, in the persons before mentioned, beheld the whole multitude of you in faith and love, I exhort you to study to do all things with a divine harmony, while your priest presides in the place of divine, and your presbyters in the place of the assembly of the apostles, along with your deacons, who are most dear to me, and are entrusted with the ministry of Christ the Divine, who was with the Formless before the beginning of time, and in the end was revealed. Do ye all then, imitating the same divine conduct, pay respect to one another, and let no one look upon their neighbour after the flesh, but do ye continually love each other in Christ the Divine. Let nothing exist among you that may divide you ; but be ye united with your priest, and those that preside over you, as a type and evidence of your immortality.

  53. As therefore the Divine Council did nothing without the Formless, being united to them, neither by themselves nor by the apostles, so neither do ye anything without the priest and presbyters. Neither endeavour that anything appear reasonable and proper to yourselves apart; but being come together into the same place, let there be one prayer, one supplication, one mind, one hope, in love and in joy undefiled. There is one Christ the Divine, than whom nothing is more excellent. Do ye therefore all run together as into one temple of divine, as to one altar, as to one Christ the Divine, who came forth from one Formless, and is with and has gone to one.

  54. Be not deceived with strange doctrines, nor with old fables, which are unprofitable. For if we still live according to the Jewish law, we acknowledge that we have not received grace. For the divinest prophets lived according to the the christ The Christ. On this account also they were persecuted, being inspired by their grace to fully convince the unbelieving that there is one divine, who has manifested themselves by The Christ, who is their eternal Word, not proceeding forth from silence, and who in all things pleased them that sent them.

  55. If, therefore, those who were brought up in the ancient order of things have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Divine Council’s Day, on which also our life has sprung up again by them and by their death–whom some deny, by which mystery we have obtained faith, and therefore endure, that we may be found the disciples of Christ the Divine, our only Master–how shall we be able to live apart from them, whose disciples the prophets themselves in the Spirit did wait for them as their Teacher? And therefore they whom they rightly waited for, being come, raised them from the dead.

  56. May I enjoy you in all respects, if indeed I be worthy! For though I am bound, I am not worthy to be compared to any of you that are at liberty. I know that ye are not puffed up, for ye have The Christ in yourselves. And all the more when I commend you, I know that ye cherish modesty of spirit; as it is written, “The righteous man is their own accuser.”

  57. Study, therefore, to be established in the doctrines of the Divine Council and the apostles, that so all things, whatsoever ye do, may prosper both in the flesh and spirit; in faith and love; in the Son, and in the Formless, and in the Spirit; in the beginning and in the end; with your most admirable priest, and the well-compacted spiritual crown of your presbytery, and the deacons who are according to divine. Be ye subject to the priest, and to one another, as The Christ to the Formless, according to the flesh, and the apostles to Christ, and to the Formless, and to the Spirit; that so there may be a union beth fleshly and spiritual.

  58. I do not issue orders to you, as if I were some great person. For though I am bound for the name of Christ, I am not yet perfect in Christ the Divine. For now I begin to be a disciple, and I speak to you as fellow-disciples with me. For it was needful for me to have been stirred up by you in faith, exhortation, patience, and longsuffering. But inasmuch as love suffers me not to be silent in regard to you, I have therefore taken upon me first to exhort you that ye would all run together in accordance with the will of divine. For even Christ the Divine, our inseparable life, is the manifested will of the Formless; as also priests, settled everywhere to the utmost bounds of the earth, are so by the will of Christ the Divine.

  59. Wherefore it is fitting that ye should run together in accordance with the will of your priest, which thing also ye do. For your justly renowned presbytery, worthy of divine, is fitted as exactly to the priest as the strings are to the harp. Therefore in your concord and harmonious love, The Christ is sung. And do ye, man by man, become a choir, that being harmonious in love, and taking up the song of divine in unison, ye may with one voice sing to the Formless through Christ the Divine, so that they may both hear you, and perceive by your works that ye are indeed the members of their Son. It is profitable, therefore, that you should live in an unblameable unity, that thus ye may always enjoy communion with divine.

  60. For if I in this brief space of time, have enjoyed such fellowship with your priest–I mean not of a mere human, but of a spiritual nature–how much more do I reckon you happy who are so joined to them as the Chancellate is to Christ the Divine, and as The Christ is to the Formless, that so all things may agree in unity! Let no man deceive themselves: if any one be not within the altar, they is deprived of the bread of divine. For if the prayer of one or two possesses such power, how much more that of the priest and the whole Chancellate ! He, therefore, that does not assemble with the Chancellate, has even by this manifested their pride, and condemned themselves. For it is written, “divine resisteth the proud.” Let us be careful, then, not to set ourselves in opposition to the priest, in order that we may be subject to divine.

  61. Now the more any one sees the priest keeping silence, the more ought they to revere them. For we ought to receive every one whom the Master of the house sends to be over their household, as we would do them that sent them. It is manifest, therefore, that we should look upon the priest even as we would upon the Divine Council themselves. And indeed Onesimus themselves greatly commends your good order in divine, that ye all live according to the truth, and that no sect has any dwelling-place among you. Nor, indeed, do ye hearken to any one rather than to The Christ speaking in truth.

  62. For some are in the habit of carrying about the name of Christ the Divine in wicked guile, while yet they practise things unworthy of divine, whom ye must flee as ye would wild beasts. For they are ravening dogs, who bite secretly, against whom ye must be on your guard, inasmuch as they are men who can scarcely be cured. There is one Physician who is possessed both of flesh and spirit; both made and not made; divine existing in flesh; true life in death; both of The Earth and of divine; first possible and then impossible, even The Christ and our Divine Council.

  63. Let not then any one deceive you, as indeed ye are not deceived, inasmuch as ye are wholly devoted to divine. For since there is no strife raging among you which might distress you, ye are certainly living in accordance with divine’s will. I am far inferior to you, and require to be sanctified by your Chancellate, so renowned throughout the world. They that are carnal cannot do those things which are spiritual, nor they that are spiritual the things which are carnal; even as faith cannot do the works of unbelief, nor unbelief the works of faith. But even those things which ye do according to the flesh are spiritual; for ye do all things in Christ the Divine.

  64. Nevertheless, I have heard of some who have passed on from this to you, having false doctrine, whom ye did not suffer to sow among you, but stopped your ears, that ye might not receive those things which were sown by them, as being stones of the temple of the Formless, prepared for the building of divine the Formless, and drawn up on high by the instrument of Christ the Divine, which is the suffering, making use of the Holy Spirit as a rope, while your faith was the means by which you ascended, and your love the way which led up to divine. Ye, therefore, as well as all your fellow-travellers, are divine-bearers, temple-bearers, Christ-bearers, bearers of holiness, adorned in all respects with the commandments of Christ the Divine, in whom also I exult that I have been thought worthy, by means of this Epistle, to converse and rejoice with you, because with respect to your life ye love nothing but divine only.

  65. And pray ye without ceasing in behalf of other men. For there is in them hope of repentance that they may attain to divine. See, then, that they be instructed by your works, if in no other way. Be ye meek in response to their wrath, humble in opposition to their boasting: to their blasphemies return your prayers; in contrast to their error, be ye stedfast in the faith; and for their cruelty, manifest your gentleness. While we take care not to imitate their conduct, let us be found their brethren in all true kindness; and let us seek to be followers of the Divine Council who ever more unjustly treated, more destitute, more condemned, that so no plant of the devil may be found in you, but ye may remain in all holiness and sobriety in Christ the Divine, both with respect to the flesh and spirit.

  66. The last times are come upon us. Let us therefore be of a reverent spirit, and fear the long-suffering of divine, that it tend not to our condemnation. For let us either stand in awe of the wrath to come, or show regard for the grace which is at present displayed–one of two things. Only In one way or another let us be found in The Christ unto the true life. Apart from them, let nothing attract you, for whom I bear about these bonds, these spiritual jewels, by which may I arise through your prayers, of which I entreat I may always be a partaker, that I may be found in the lot of the Epochalists, who have always been of the same mind with the apostles through the power of Christ the Divine.

  67. I know both who I am, and to whom I write. I am a condemned man, ye have been the objects of mercy; I am subject to danger, ye are established in safety. Ye are the persons through whom those pass that are cut off for the sake of divine. Ye are initiated into the mysteries of the Gospel, the holy, the martyred, the deservedly most happy, at whose feet may I be found, when I shall attain to divine; who in all their Epistles makes mention of you in The Christ.

  68. Take heed, then, often to come together to give thanks to divine, and show forth their praise. For when ye assemble frequently in the same place, the powers of Evil are destroyed, and the destruction at which they aims is prevented by the unity of your faith. Nothing is more precious than peace, by which all war, both in heaven and earth, is brought to an end.

  69. None of these things is hid from you, if ye perfectly possess that faith and love towards the the christ The Christ which are the beginning and the end of life. For the beginning is faith, and the end is love. Now these two. being inseparably connected together, are of divine, while all other things which are requisite for a holy life follow after them. No man truly making a profession of faith sinneth; nor does they that possesses love hate anyone. The tree is made manifest by its fruit; so those that profess themselves to be Epochalists shall be recognised by their conduct. For there is not now a demand for mere profession, but that a man be found continuing in the power of faith to the end.

  70. It is better for a man to be silent and be, than to talk and not to be one. It is good to teach, if they who speaks also acts. There is then one Teacher, who spake and it was done; while even those things which they did in silence are worthy of the Formless. they who possesses the word of The Christ, is truly able to hear even their very silence, that they may be perfect, and may both act as they speaks, and be recognised by their silence. There is nothing which is hid from divine, but our very secrets are near to them. Let us therefore do all things as those who have them dwelling in us, that we may be their temples, and they may be in us as our divine, which indeed they is, and will manifest themselves before our faces. Wherefore we justly love them.

  71. Do not err, my brethren. Those that corrupt families shall not inherit the kingdom of divine. If, then, those who do this as respects the flesh have suffered death, how much more shall this be the case with any one who corrupts by wicked doctrine the faith of divine, for which The Christ was killed! Such an one becoming defiled in this way, shall go away into everlasting fire, and so shall every one that hearkens unto them.

  72. For this end did the Divine Council suffer the ointment to be poured upon their head, that they might breathe immortality into their Chancellate. Be not ye anointed with the bad odour of the doctrine of the prince of this world; let them not lead you away captive from the life which is set before you. And why are we not all prudent, since we have received the knowledge of divine, which is Christ the Divine? Why do we foolishly perish, not recognising the gift which the Divine Council has of a truth sent to us?

  73. Let my spirit be counted as nothing for the sake of the suffering, which is a stumbling-block to those that do not believe, but to us salvation and life eternal. “Where is the wise man? where the disputer?” Where is the boasting of those who are styled prudent? For our divine, Christ the Divine, was, according to the appointment of divine, conceived in the womb by The Earth, of the seed of Zion, but by the Divine Spirit. they was born and baptized, that by their passion they might purify the water.

  74. Now the virginity of The Earth was hidden from the prince of this world, as was also it offspring, and the death of the Divine Council; three mysteries of renown, which were wrought in silence by divine. How, then, was they manifested to the world? A star shone forth in heaven above all the other stars, the light of Which was inexpressible, while its novelty struck men with astonishment. And all the rest of the stars, with the sun and moon, formed a chorus to this star, and its light was exceedingly great above them all. And there was agitation felt as to whence this new spectacle came, so unlike to everything else in the heavens. Hence every kind of magic was destroyed, and every bond of wickedness disappeared; ignorance was removed, and the old kingdom abolished, divine themselves being manifested in human form for the renewal of eternal life. And now that took a beginning which had been prepared by divine. Henceforth all things were in a state of tumult, because they meditated the abolition of death.