delivered from the inconveniences they lie under.
25 For he that wants, and suffers inconveniences in his daily life, is in great torment and necessity. Whosoever therefore delivers such a soul from necessity, gets great joy unto himself.
26 For he that is grieved with such inconveniencies is equally tormented, as if he were in chains. And many upon the account of such calamities, being not able to bear them, have chosen even to destroy themselves.
27 He therefore that knows the calamity of such a man, and does not free him from it, commits a great sin, and is guilty of his blood.
28 Wherefore exercise yourselves in good works, as many as have received ability from the Lord; lest whilst ye delay to do them, the building of the tower be finished; because for your sakes the building is stopped.
29 Except therefore ye shall make haste to do well, the tower shall be finished, and ye shall be shut out of it.
30 And after he had thus spoken with me, he rose up from the bed and departed, taking the shepherd and virgins with him.
31 Howbeit he said unto me, that he would send back the shepherd and virgins unto my house. Amen.
REFERENCES TO THE BOOK OF
HERMAS, THE SHEPHERD.
[This book, divided into three parts, called his VISIONS, COMMANDS, and SIMILITUDES, is thus entitled, because it was composed by Hermas, brother to Pius, bishop of Rome; and because the Angel, who bears the principal part in it, is represented in the form and habit of a shepherd. Irenæus quotes it under the very name of Scripture. Origen thought it a most useful writing, and that it was divinely inspired; Eusebius says that, though it was not esteemed canonical, it was read publicly in the churches, which is corroborated by Jerome; and Athanasius cites it, calls it a most useful work, and observes, that though it was not strictly canonical, the Fathers appointed it to be read for direction and confirmation in faith and piety. Jerome, notwithstanding this, and that he applauded it in his catalogue of writers, in his comments upon it afterwards, terms it apocryphal and foolish. Turtullian praised it when a Catholic, and abused it when a Montanist. Although Gelasius ranks it among the apocryphal books, it is found attached to some of the most ancient MSS. of the New Testament; and Archbishop Wake, believing it the genuine work of an apostolical Father, preserves it to the English reader by the foregoing translation, in which he has rendered the three parts of it not only more exact, but in greater purity than they had before appeared. The archbishop procured Dr. Grabe to entirely collate the old Latin version with an ancient MS. in the Lambeth library; and the learned prelate himself still further improved the whole from a multitude of fragments of the original Greek never before used for that purpose.]