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Chapter XVII.—Same Subject Continued.

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 God 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;44054405    i.e., Presbyters. but also when we take our departure home, let us remember the commandments of the Lord, and not be allured back by worldly lusts, but let us often and often draw near and try to make progress in the Lord’s commands, that we all having the same mind may be gathered together for life.  For the Lord said, “I come to gather all nations [kindreds] and tongues.”44064406    This passage proves this so-called Epistle to be a homily.  This means the day of His appearing, when He will come and redeem us—each one according to his works.  And the unbelievers will see His glory and might, and, when they see the empire of the world in Jesus, they will be surprised, saying, “Woe to us, because Thou wast, and we knew not and believed not and obeyed not the elders44074407    Is. lxvi. 18. who show us 256plainly of our salvation.”  And “their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be a spectacle unto all flesh.”44084408    Is. lxvi. 24.  It is of the great day of judgment He speaks, when they shall see those among us who were guilty of ungodliness and erred in their estimate of the commands of Jesus Christ.  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 Jesus by words or deeds are punished with grievous torments in fire unquenchable, will give glory to their God and say, “There will be hope for him who has served God with his whole heart.”


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