Apocrypha

"WHEN I had prayed at home, and was sat down upon the bed, a certain man came in to me with a reverend look, in the habit of a shepherd, clothed with a white cloak, having his bag upon his back, and his staff in his hand, and saluted me....All these things that Shepherd, the angel of repentance, commanded me to write." (Second Book of Hermas, Introduction)

"AGAIN he said unto me; remove from thee all doubting; and question nothing at all, when thou askest anything of the Lord; saying within thyself: how shall I be able to ask anything of the Lord and receive it, seeing I have so greatly sinned against him?

"Do not think thus, but turn unto the Lord with all thy heart, and ask of him without doubting, and thou shalt know the mercy of the Lord; how that he will not forsake thee, but will fulfil the request of thy soul.

"For God is not as men, mindful of the injuries he has received; but he forgets injuries, and has compassion upon his creature.

"Wherefore purify thy heart from all the vices of this present world; and observe the commands I have before delivered unto thee from God; and thou shalt receive whatsoever good things thou shalt ask, and nothing shall be wanting unto thee of all thy petitions; if thou shalt ask of the Lord without doubting.

"But they that are not such, shall obtain none of those things which they ask. For they that are full of faith ask all things with confidence, and receive from the Lord, because they ask without doubting. But he that doubts, shall hardly live unto God, except he repent.

"Wherefore purify thy heart from doubting, and put on faith, and trust in God, and thou shalt receive all that thou shalt ask. But and if thou shouldest chance to ask somewhat and not (immediately) receive it, yet do not therefore doubt, because thou hast not presently received the petition of thy soul.

"For it may be thou shalt not presently receive it for thy trial, or else for some sin which thou knowest not. But do not thou leave off to ask, and then thou shalt receive. Else if thou shalt cease to ask, thou must complain of thyself, and not of God, that he has not given unto thee what thou didst desire.

"Consider therefore this doubting, how cruel and pernicious it is; and how it utterly roots out many from the faith, who were very faithful and firm. For this doubting is the daughter of the devil, and deals very wickedly with the servants of God.

"Despise it therefore, and thou shalt rule over it on every occasion. Put on a firm and powerful faith: for faith promises all things and perfects all things. But doubting will not believe, that it shall obtain anything, by all that it can do.

"Thou seest therefore, says he, how faith cometh from above, from God; and hath great power. But doubting is an earthly spirit, and proceedeth from the devil, and has no strength.

"Do thou therefore keep the virtue of faith, and depart from doubting, in which is no virtue, and thou shalt live unto God. And all shall live unto God, as many as do these things." (Second Book of Hermas, Command 9)

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