Early Church Fathers
1 The commencement varies. In the Vatican: "He who had brought me up, sold a certain young woman at Rome. Many years after this I saw her and recognized her." So Lips.; Pal. has the name of the woman, Rada. The name Rhode occurs in Acts xii. 13.
2 "On my road to the villages." This seems to mean: as I was taking a walk into the country, or spending my time in travelling amid rural scenes. So the Aethiopic version. "Proceeding with these thoughts in my mind."-Vat. After I had come to the city of Ostia."-Pal. "Proceeding to some village."-Lips. [The Christian religion begetting this enthusiasm for nature, and love for nature's God, is to be noted. Where in all heathendom do we find spirit or expression like this?]
3 Creatures. Creature or creation.-Lips., Vat., Aeth.
4 Pathless place. Place on the right hand.-Vat. [Rev. xvii. 3, xxi. 10. Dante, Inferno, i. 1-5.]
5 Lord. God.-Sin. alone.
6 Are you to be the subject of my accusation? Are you to accuse me?-Vat., Lips., Aeth.
7 [Eph. iii. 9, 10.]
8 How? In what place?-Vat., Sin.
9 Wickedness. The desire of fornication.-Lips. [Prov. xxi. 10, xxiv. 9; Matt. v. 28.]
10 Literally, his glory is made straight in the heavens. As long as his thoughts are righteous and his way of life correct he will have the Lord in heaven merciful to him.-Vat. When he thinks righteously, he corrects himself, and his grace will be in heaven, and he will have the Lord merciful in every business.-Pal. His dignity will be straight in the skies. Aeth. [Prov. x. 24, xi. 23.]
11 [Col. iii. 2; Ps. xlix. 6.]
12 For many... life. For the minds of such become empty. Now this is what the doubters do who have no hope in the Lord, and despise and neglect their life.-Vat. Their souls not having the hope of life, do not resist these luxuries: for they despair of themselves and their life.-Pal. [Eph. ii. 12.]
13 [Job xlii. 8.]
14 Literally, perfect. How... sins. How shall I entreat the Lord in regard to my very numerous sins?-Vat. How can I propitiate the Lord God in these my sins?-Pal. How then shall I be saved, and beg pardon of the Lord for these my many sins?-Aeth. [Mic. vi. 6, 7, 8.]
15 A chair made of white wool, like snow.-Vat. A chair for reclining, and on it a covering of wool, white as hail.-Aeth.
16 And... sorrow. I leaping in spirit with joy at her salutation.-Lips. [The Monatanist austerity glanced at.]
17 For... spirit. For this hateful thought ought not to be in a servant of God, nor ought a well-tried spirit to desire an evil deed.-Vat. [The praise here bestowed on Hermas favours the idea that a second Hermas was the author.]
18 But that. But God is not angry with you on your own account, but on account of your house, which has.-Vat.
19 Corrupted. To live riotously.-Vat. [1 Sam. iii. 11, 14. Traditions of the Pauline Hermas may be here preserved.]
20 Lord. God.-Vat. [The Montanist dogma representing God as the reverse of (Neh. ix. 17) "gentle and easy to be entreated" is rebuked.]
21 Will strengthen. Has preserved you in glory.-Vat. Strengthened and established.-Lips. Has saved your house.-Pal.
22 Easy-minded. Only wander not, but be calm.-Vat. Omitted in Pal.
23 Accomplishes.... wishes. And exhibits it to any one to whom he wishes.-Vat.
24 So shall you also, teaching the truth daily, cut off great sin.-Vat.
25 I know... saints. For the Lord knows that they will repent with all their heart, and He will write you in the Book of Life.-Vat. See Phil. iv. 3; Rev. xx. 15. [He contrasts the mild spirit of the Gospel with the severity of the Law in the case of Eli.]
26 And give ear to the glories of God, omitted in Vat.
27 And then... her. And unfolding a book, she read gloriously, magnificently, and admirably.-Vat. [Dan. x. 9.]
28 Gentle. For they were few and useful to us.-Vat.
29 By His own wisdom and providence. By His migfhty power.-Vat., Pal. [Scripture is here distilled like the dew. Prov. iii. 19. Ps. xxiv. 2 and marginal references.]
30 Holy omitted by Lips.
31 Removes. He will remove.-Vat.
32 See 2 Pet. iii. 5.
33 [Isa. lxv. 22. See Faber's Historical Inquiry, as to the primitive idea of the elect, book ii. 2. New York, 1940.]
34 Be strong, or be made strong.-Vat. [1 Cor. xvi. 13.]
1 Country; lit. to the villages. From Cumae-Vat. While I was journeying in the district of the Cumans.-Pal.
2 [Ezek. i. 1; iii. 23.]
3 [Ezek. i. 1; iii. 23.]
4 God... against. Omitted in Vat.
5 Not, omitted in Vat.
6 Make known. Rebuke with these words.-Vat. [Your sister in Christ, i.e., when converted.]
7 Let her restrain her tongue.-Vat. [Jas. iii. 5-10]
8 For... you. For she will be instructed, after you have rebuked her with those words which the Lord has commanded to be revealed to you.-Val.
9 [Against Montanism. Matt. xii. 31. xviii. 22.]
10 [To show that the Catholica doctrine does not make Christ the minister of sin. Gal. ii. 17.]
11 [To show that the Catholica doctrine does not make Christ the minister of sin. Gal. ii. 17.]
12 Passage. [Luke xvi. 22.] Your journey.-Pal.
13 And whosoever shall not deny his own life.-Vat. [Seeking one's life was losing it: hating one's own life was finding it. (Matt. x. 39; Luke xiv. 26.) The great tribuation here referred to, is probably that mystery of St. Paul (2 Thess. ii. 3), which they supposed nigh at hand. Our author probably saw signs of it in Montanus and his followers.]
14 Those... coming. The meaning of this sentence is obscure. The Vat. is evidently corrupt, but seems to mean: "The Lord has sworn by His Son, that whoever will deny Him and His Son, promising themselves life thereby, they [God and His Son] will deny them in the days that are to come." The days that are to come would mean the day of judgment and the future state. See Matt. x. 33. [This they supposed would soon follow the great apostasy and tribulation. The words "earlier times" are against the Pauline date.]
15 Became gracious. Will be gracious.-Pal.
16 The Vat. adds: but forgetfulness of them, eternal life. [Lev. xix. 18. See Jeremy Taylor, Of Forgiveness, Discourse xi. vol. i. p. 217. London, Bohn, 1844.]
17 Personal. Worldly.-Vat.
18 You... careless. You neglected them as if they did not belong to you.-Vat. [See cap. iii. supra, "easy-minded."
19 But you will be saved for not having departed from the living God. And your simplicity and singular self-control will save you, if you remain stedfast.-Vat.
20 Now you will say: Lo! Great tribulation cometh on.-Vat. Lo! Exceedingly great tribulation cometh on.-Lips. [Maximus seems to have been a lapser, this warned in a spirit of orthodoxy in contrast with Montanism, but with irony.]
21 [The sense is: This is the temptation of those who pervert the promises made to the penitent. They may say, "we are threatened with terrible persecution; let us save our lives by momentarily denying Christ: we can turn again, and the Lord is nigh to all who thus turn, as Eldad and Medad told the Israelites."] Eldad (or Eldat or Heldat or Heldam) and Modat (Mudat or Modal) are mentioned in Num. xi. 26, 27. The apocryphal book inscribed with their name is now lost. Cotelerius compares, for the passage, Ps. xxxiv. 9.
22 The Church. The Church of God.-Vat. [See Grabe's note, Bull's Defens. Fid. Nicaen., 1. cap. 2. sec. 6; Works, vol. v. part. 1. p. 67.]
23 Grapte is supposed to have been a deaconess.
24 [Here, as in places that follow, is to be noted a development of canon law, that could hardly have existed in the days of the Pauline Hermas. He is supposed to be a lector, who might read for the edification of the elect, if permitted by the presbyters. Grapte, the deaconess, is supposed to have charge of widows and orphans; while Clement, only, has canonical right to authenticate books to foreign churches, as the Eastern bishops were accustomed to authenticate canonical Scriptures to him and others. The second Hermas falls into such anachronisms innocently, but they betray the fiction of his work. Compare the Apost. Constitutions with (apocryphal) authentications by Clement.]