2 And when I saw her I thought with myself, saying, How happy should I be if I had such a wife, both for beauty and manners. This I thought with myself; nor did I think any thing more. But not long after, as I was walking, and musing on these thoughts, I began to honour this creature of God, thinking with myself; how noble and beautiful she was.
3 And when I had walked a little, I fell asleep; and the spirit caught me away, and carried me through a certain place towards the right hand, through which no man could pass. It was a place among rocks, very steep, and unpassable for water.
4 When I was past this place, I came into a plain; and there falling down upon my knees, I began to pray unto the Lord, and to confess my sins.
5 And as I was praying, the heaven was opened, and I saw the woman which I had coveted, saluting me from heaven, and saying, Hermas, hail! and I looking upon her, answered, Lady, what dost thou do here? She answered me, I am taken up hither to accuse thee of sin before the Lord.
6 Lady, said I, wilt thou convince me? No, said she: but hear the words which I am about to speak unto thee. God who dwelleth in heaven, and hath made all things out of nothing, and hath multiplied them for his holy church's sake, is angry with thee because thou hast sinned against me.
7 And I answering said unto her, Lady, if I have sinned against thee, tell me where, or in what place, or when did I ever speak an unseemly or dishonest word unto thee?
8 Have I not always esteemed thee as a lady? Have I not always reverenced thee as a sister? Why then dost thou imagine these wicked things against me?
9 Then she, smiling upon me, said: the desire of naughtiness has risen up in thy heart. Does it not seem to thee to be an ill thing for a righteous man to have an evil desire rise up in his heart.
10 It is indeed a sin, and that a very great sin, to such a one; for a righteous man thinketh that which is righteous. And whilst he does so, and walketh uprightly, he shall have the Lord in heaven favourable unto him in all his business.
11 But as for those who think wickedly in their hearts, they take to themselves death and captivity; and especially those who love this present world, and glory in their riches, and regard not the good things that are to come; their souls wander up and down and know not where to fix.
12 Now this is the case of such as are double-minded, who trust not in the Lord, and despise and neglect their own life.
13 But do thou pray unto the Lord, and he will heal thy sins, and the sins of thy whole house, and of all his saints.
14 As soon as she had spoken these words the heaven were shut, and I remained utterly swallowed up with sadness and fear: and said within myself, if this be laid against me for sin, how can I be saved.
15 Or how should I ever be able to entreat the Lord for my many and great sins? With what words shall I beseech him to be merciful unto me?
16 As I was thinking over these things, and meditating in myself upon them, behold a chair was set over against me of the whitest wool, as bright as snow.
17 And there came an old woman in a bright garment, having