Early Church Fathers
Acts of the Holy Apostle Thomas
When He Came into India, and Built the Palace in the Heavens.
When He Came into India, and Built the Palace in the Heavens.
And when the apostle came into the cities of India, with Abbanes the merchant, Abbanes went away to salute Gundaphoros the king, and reported to him about the carpenter whom he bad brought with him; and the king was glad, and ordered him to come in to himself. And when he had come in, the king said to him: What trade knowest thou? The apostle says to him: The carpenter's and house builder's. The king says to him: What work in wood knowest thou, then, and what in stone? The apostle says: In wood, ploughs, yokes, balances, pulleys, and boats, and oars, and masts; and in stone, monuments, temples, royal palaces. And the king said: Wilt thou build me a palace? And he answered: Yes, I shall build it, and finish it; for because of this I came, to build houses, and to do carpenter's work.
And the king having taken him, went forth out of the gates of the city, and began to talk with him on the way about the building of the palace, and about the foundations, how they should be laid, until they came to that place in which he wished the building to be. And he said: Here I wish the building to be. And the apostle says: Yes; for assuredly this place is convenient for the building. For the place was well wooded, and there was much water there. The king therefore says: Begin to build. And he said: I cannot begin to build at this time.
And the king says: When wilt thou be able? And he says: I shall begin in Dius and end in Xanthicus.1 And the king wondering, said: Every building is built in summer; but canst thou build and make a palace in winter itself? And the apostle said: Thus it must be, and otherwise it is impossible. And the king said: If, therefore, this be thy opinion, mark out for me how the work is to be, since I shall come here after some time. And the apostle, having taken a reed, measured the place, and marked it out; and he set the doors towards the rising of the sun, to look to the light, and the windows towards its setting, to the winds; and he made the bakehouse to be towards the south, and the water-tank, for abundance, towards the north. And the king seeing this, said to the apostle: Thou art a craftsman indeed, and it is fitting that thou shouldst serve kings. And having left many things for him, he went away.
And from time to time he also sent the money that was necessary, for the living both of him and the other workmen. And he taking it, dispenses it all, going about the cities and the places round, distributing and doing kindnesses to the poor and the afflicted, and gave them rest,2 saying: The king knows how to obtain royal recompense, and it is necessary for the poor to have repose for the present.
And after this, the king sent a messenger to the apostle, having written to him as follows: Show me what thou hast done, or what I am to send thee, or what thou needest. The apostle sends to him, saying: The palace is built, and only the roof remains to be done. And the king, having heard, sent him again gold and silver uncoined, and wrote to him: Let the palace, if it be done, be roofed. And the apostle said to the Lord: I thank Thee, Lord, as to all things, that Thou didst die for a short time, that I might live in Thee for ever; and hast sold me, so that Thou mayst deliver many through me. And he did not cease to teach and refresh the afflicted, saying: These things the Lord hath dispensed to us, and He gives to each his food; for He is the support of the orphans, and the provider of the widows, and to all that are afflicted He is rest and repose.
And when the king came into the city, he inquired of his friends about the palace which Judas, who also is Thomas, had built; and they said to him: He has neither built a palace, nor done anything else of what he promised to do; but he goes round the cities and the districts, and if he has anything he gives all to the poor, and teaches one new God,3 and heals the diseased, and drives out demons, and does many other extraordinary things; and we think that he is a magician. But his acts of compassion, and the cures done by him as a free gift, and still more, his single-mindedness, and gentleness, and fidelity, show that he is a just man, or an apostle of the new God whom he preaches; for he continually fasts and prays, and eats only bread with salt, and his drink is water, and he carries one coat, whether in warm weather or in cold, and he takes nothing from any one, but gives to others even what he has. The king having heard this, stroked his face with his hands, shaking his head for a long time.
And he sent for the merchant that had brought him, and for the apostle, and said to him: Hast thou built me the palace? And he said: Yes, I have built it. And the king said: When, then, are we to go and see it? And he answered and said: Now thou canst not see it; but when thou hast departed this life, thou shalt see it. And the king, quite enraged, ordered both the merchant, and Judas who also is Thomas, to be put in chains, and to be cast into prison, until he should examine, and learn to whom he had given the king's property. And thus I shall destroy him along with the merchant. And the apostle went to prison rejoicing, and said to the merchant: Fear nothing at all, but only believe in the God proclaimed by me, and thou shalt be freed from this world, and thou shall obtain life in the world to come.
And the king considered by what death he should kill them; and when it seemed good to him to flay them, and burn them with fire, on that very night Gad the king's brother fell ill, and through the grief and imposition which the king suffered he was grievously depressed; and having sent for the king, he said to him: My brother the king, I commend to thee my house and my children; for I, on account of the insult that has befallen thee, have been grieved, and am dying; and if thou do not come down with vengeance upon the head of that magician, thou wilt give my soul no rest in Hades. And the king said to his brother: During the whole night I have considered this, how I shall put him to death; and this has seemed good to me-to flay him and burn him up with fire, both him and with him the merchant that brought him.
And as they were talking together, the soul of Gad his brother departed. And the king mourned for Gad exceedingly, for he altogether loved him. And he ordered him to be prepared for burial in a royal and costly robe. And as this was being done, angels received the soul of Gad the king's brother, and took it up into heaven, showing him the places and dwellings there, asking him: In what sort of a place dost thou wish to dwell? And when they came near the edifice of Thomas the apostle, which he had built for the king, Gad, seeing it, said to the angels, I entreat you, my lords, permit me to dwell in one of the underground chambers of this palace. And they said to him: Thou canst not dwell in this building.4 And he said: Wherefore? They say to him: This palace is the one which that Christian built for thy brother. And he said: I entreat you, my lords, permit me to go to thy brother, that I may buy this palace from him; for my brother does not know what it is like, and he will sell it to me.
Then the angels let the soul of Gad go. And as they were putting on him the burial robe, his soul came into him. And he said to those standing round him: Call my brother to me, that I may beg of him one request. Straightway, therefore, they sent the good news to their king, saying: Thy brother has come alive again. And the king started up, and along with a great multitude went to his brother, and went in and stood beside his bed as if thunderstruck, not being able to speak to him. And his brother said: I know and am persuaded, brother, that if any one asked of thee the haft of thy kingdom, thou wouldst give it for my sake; wherefore I entreat thee to grant me one favour, which I beg of thee to do me. And the king answered and said: And what is it that thou askest me to do for thee? And he said: Assure me by an oath that thou wilt grant it me. And the king swore to him: Of what belongs to me, whatever thou shalt ask, I will give thee. And he says to him: Sell me that palace which thou hast in the heavens. And the king said: Whence does a palace in the heavens belong to me? And he said: That which the Christian who is now in the prison, whom the merchant bought froth a certain Jesus, and brought to thee, built for thee. And as he was at a loss, he says to him again: I speak of that Hebrew slave whom thou didst wish to punish, as having suffered some imposition from him, on account of whom I also was grieved and died, and now have come alive again.
Then the king, having come to know, understood about the eternal benefits that were conferred upon him and destined for him, and said: That palace I cannot sell thee, but I pray thee to go into it, and dwell there, and become worthy to be of its inhabitants; but if thou really wishest to buy such a palace, behold, the man is alive, and will build thee a better than that.5 And having sent immediately, he brought out of the prison the apostle, and the merchant who had been shut up along with him, saying: I entreat thee, as a man entreating the servant of God, that thou wilt pray for me, and entreat him whose servant thou art, to pardon me, and overlook what I have done to thee, or even what I meant to do, and that I may be worthy to be an inhabitant of that house for which indeed I have laboured nothing, but which thou labouring alone hast built for me, the grace of thy God working with thee; and that I may become a servant, I also, and slave of this God whom thou proclaimest. And his brother, falling down before the apostle, said: I entreat thee, and supplicate before thy God, that I may become worthy of this ministry and service, and may be allotted to become worthy of those things which were shown me by his angels.
And the apostle, seized with joy, said: I make full confession6 to Thee, Lord Jesus, that Thou hast revealed Thy truth in these men: for Thou alone art a God of truth, and not another; and Thou art He who knowest all things that are unknown to many: Thou art He, Lord, who in all things showest compassion and mercy to men; for men, through the error that is in them, have overlooked Thee, but Thou hast not overlooked them. And now, when I am entreating and supplicating Thee, accept the king and his brother, and unite them into Thy fold, having cleansed them by Thy purification, and anointed them with Thy oil, from the error which encompasseth them; and protect them also from the wolves, bringing them into Thy meadows; and give them to drink of Thy ambrosial fountain, that is never muddy and never faileth: for they entreat Thee, and supplicate, and wish to become Thy ministers and servants; and on account of this they are well pleased even to be persecuted by Thine enemies, and for Thy sake to be hated by them, and insulted, and to die; as Thou also for our sakes didst suffer all these things, that Thou mightst gain us to Thyself, as being Lord, and truly a good shepherd. And do Thou grant them that they may have confidence in Thee alone, and aid from Thee, and hope of their salvation, which they obtain from Thee alone, and that they may be confirmed in Thy mysteries; and they shall receive the perfect benefits of Thy graces and gifts, and flourish in Thy service, and bear fruit to perfection in Thy Father.
King Gundaphoros, therefore, and Gad, having been altogether set apart by the apostle, followed him, not at all going back, they also providing for those that begged of them, giving to all, and relieving all. And they entreated him that they might also then receive the seal of baptism; and they said to him: As our souls are at ease, and as we are earnest about God, give us the seal; for we have heard thee saying that the God whom thou proclaimest recognises through his seal his own sheep. And the apostle said to them: And I am glad, and entreat you to receive this seal, and to communicate with me in this thanksgiving7 and blessing of God, and to be made perfect in it;8 for this Jesus Christ whom I proclaim is Lord and God of all, and He is the Father of truth, in whom I have taught you to believe. And he ordered to bring them oil, in order that through the oil they might receive the seal. They brought the oil, therefore, and lighted many lamps, for it was night.9
And the apostle arose, and sealed them; and the Lord was revealed to them, through a voice saying, Peace to you, brethren! And they heard His voice only, but His form they saw not; for they had not yet received the ratification10 of the seal. And the apostle, having taken oil, and poured it over their head, and salved and anointed them, began to say: Come, holy name of Christ, which is above every name; come, power of the Most High, and perfect compassion; come, grace most high; come, compassionate mother; come, thou that hast charge11 of the male child; come, thou who revealest secret mysteries; come, mother of the seven houses, that there may be rest for thee in the eighth house; come, thou presbyter of the five members-intelligence, thought, purpose, reflection, reasoning-communicate with these young persons; come, Holy Spirit, and purify their reins and heart, and seal them in the name of Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit. And when they had been sealed, there appeared to them a young man holding a burning torch, so that their lamps were even darkened by the approach12 of its light. And he went out, and disappeared from their sight. And the apostle said to the Lord: Thy light, Lord, is too great for us, and we cannot bear it; for it is too much for our sight. And when light came, and it was dawn, having broken bread, he made them partakers of the thanksgiving13 of Christ. And they rejoiced and exulted; and many others also believed, and were added, and came to the refuge of the Saviour.
And the apostle ceased not proclaiming, and saying to them: Men and women, boys and girls, young men and maidens, vigorous and aged, both bond and free, withhold yourselves from fornication, and covetousness, and the service of the belly; for under these three heads all wickedness comes. For fornication maims the mind, and darkens the eyes of the soul, and becomes a hindrance of the due regulation of the body, changing the whole man into feebleness, and throwing the whole body into disease. And insatiableness puts the soul into fear and shame, existing by what pertains to the body,14 and forcibly seizing what belongs to another; ...and the service of the belly throws the soul into cares and troubles and griefs.... Since, therefore, you have been set free from these, you are without care, and without grief, and without fear; and there remains to you that which was said by the Saviour: Take no care for the morrow, for the morrow will take care of itself.15 Keep in mind also that saying before mentioned: Look upon the ravens, and behold the fowls of the heaven, that they neither sow nor reap, nor gather into barns, and God takes care of them; bow much more you, O ye of little faith!16 But look for His appearing, and have your hopes in Him, and believe in His name: for He is the Judge of living and dead, and He requites to each one according to his deeds; and at His coming and appearance at last no one will have as a ground of excuse, when he comes to be judged by Him, that he has not heard. For His heralds are proclaiming in the four quarters of the world. Repent, therefore, and believe the message,17 and accept the yoke of gentleness and the light burden,18 that you may live and not die. These things lay hold of, these things keep; come forth from the darkness, that the light may receive yen; come to Him who is truly good, that from Him you may receive grace, and place His sign upon your souls.
When he had thus said, some of the bystanders said to him: It is time for this debtor to receive his debt. And he said to them: The creditor,19 indeed, always wishes to receive more; but let us give him what is proper. And having blessed them, he took bread and oil, and herbs and salt, and gave them to eat. But he continued in his fasting, for the Lord's day was about to dawn. And on the night following, while he was asleep, the Lord came and stood by his head, saying: Thomas, rise up early and bless them all; and after the prayer and service go along the eastern road two miles, and there I shall show in thee my glory. For because thou goest away, many shall flee to me for refuge, and thou shalt reprove the nature and the power of the enemy. And having risen up from sleep, he said to the brethren who were with him: Children and brethren, the Lord wishes to do something or other to-day through me; but let us pray and entreat Him that nothing may be a hindrance to us towards Him, but as at all times let it now also be done unto us according to His purpose and will. And having thus spoken, he laid his hands upon them and blessed them. And having broken the bread of the Eucharist, he gave it to them, saying: This Eucharist shall be20 to you for compassion, and mercy, and recompense, and not for judgment. And they said: Amen.
And the apostle went forth to go where the Lord had bidden him. And when he came near the second milestone he turned a little out of the way, and saw the body of a beautiful youth lying; and he said: Lord, was it for this that Thou broughtest me out to come here, that I might see this trial? Thy will therefore be done, as Thou purposest. And he began to pray, and to say: Lord, Judge of the living, and of those that are lying dead, and Lord of all, and Father-Father not only of the souls that are in bodies, but also of those that have gone out of them; for of the souls that are in pollutions Thou art Lord and Judge-come at this time, when I call upon Thee, and show Thy glory upon him that is lying down here. And he turned and said to those that followed him: This affair has not happened idly; but the enemy has wrought and effected this, that he might make an assault upon him; and you see that he has availed himself of no other form, and has wrought through no other living being, but through his subject.
And when the apostle had thus spoken, behold, a great dragon came forth from his den, knocking his head, and brandishing his tail down to the ground, and, using a loud voice, said to the apostle: I shall say before thee for what cause I have put him to death, since thou art here in order to reprove my works. And the apostle says: Yes, say on. And the dragon: There is a certain woman in this place exceedingly beautiful; and as she was once passing by, I saw her, and fell in love with her, and I followed and watched her; and I found this young man kissing her, and he also had intercourse with her, and did with her other shameful things. And to me indeed it was pleasant to tell thee this, for I know that thou art the twin-brother of Christ, and always bringest our race to nought. But, not wishing to harass her, I did not at this time put him to death; but I watched him passing by in the evening, and struck him, and killed him, and especially as he had dared to do this on the Lord's day.21 And the apostle inquired of him, saying: Tell me, of what seed and of what race art thou?
And he said to him: I am the offspring of the race of the serpent, and hurtful of the hurtful; I am son of him who hurt and struck the four brothers that stood; I am son of him who sits on the throne of destruction, and takes his own from what he has lent;22 I am son of that apostate who encircles the globe; I am kinsman to him who is outside of the ocean, whose tail lies in his mouth; I am he who went into paradise through the hedge, and spoke with Eve what my father bade me speak to her; I am he who inflamed and fired Cain to kill his brother, and through me thorns and prickles sprang up in the ground; I am he who cast down the angels from above, and bound them down by the desires of women, that earth-born23 children might be produced froth them, and that I might work my will in them;24 I am he who hardened the heart of Pharaoh, that he should murder the children of Israel, and keep them down by the hard yoke of slavery; I am he who caused the multitude to err in the desert when they made the calf; I am he who inflamed Herod and incited Caiaphas to the lying tales of falsehood before Pilate, for this became me; I am he who inflamed Judas, and bought him, that he should betray Christ; I am he who inhabits and holds the abyss of Tartarus, and the Son of God has wronged me against my will, and has gathered his own out of me; I am the kinsman of him who is to come from the east, to whom also power has been given to do whatever he will upon the earth.
And that dragon having thus spoken in the hearing of all the multitude, the apostle raised his voice on high, and said: Cease henceforth, O thou most unabashed, and be ashamed and altogether put to death; for the end of thy destruction is at hand, and do not dare to say what thou hast done through thy dependants. And I order thee, in the name of that Jesus who even until now makes a struggle against you for the sake of His own human beings, to suck out the poison which thou hast put into this man, and to draw it forth, and take it out of him. And the dragon said: The time of our end is by no means at hand, as thou hast said. Why dost thou force me to take out what I have put into him, and to die before the time? Assuredly, when my father shall draw forth and suck out what he has put into the creation, then his end will come. And the apostle said to him: Show us, therefore, now the nature of thy father. And the dragon went up, and put his mouth upon the wound of the young man, and sucked the gall out of it. And in a short time the skin of the young man, which was like purple, grew white, and the dragon swelled. And when the dragon had drawn up all the gall into himself, the young man sprang up and stood, and ran and fell at the apostle's feet. And the dragon, being swelled up, shrieked out and died, and his poison and gall were poured forth; and in the place where his poison was poured forth there was made a great chasm, and that dragon was swallowed up. And the apostle said to the king and his brother: Take workmen, and fill up the place in which the dragon has been swallowed up, and lay foundations, and build houses-above it, that it may be made a dwelling-place for the strangers.
And the young man said to the apostle, with many tears: I have sinned against the God proclaimed by thee, and against thee, but I ask pardon of thee; for thou art a man having two forms, and wherever thou wishest there art thou found, and thou art held in by no one, as I see. For I beheld that man, when I stood beside thee, who also said to thee, I have many wonders to show by means of thee, and I have great works to accomplish by means of thee, for which thou shall obtain a reward; and thou shall make many to live, and they shall be in repose and eternal light as the children of God: do thou therefore bring alive-he says, speaking to thee about me-this young man who has been cast down by the enemy, and in all time be the overseer of him. Thou hast, then, well come hither, and again thou shall well go away to him, he being not at all forsaken by thee. And I am without care and reproach, for the dawn has risen upon me from the care of the night, and I am at rest; and I have also been released from him who exasperated me to do these things: for I have sinned against Him who taught me the contrary, and I have destroyed him who is the kinsman of the night, who forced me to sin by his own practices; and I have found that kinsman of mine who is like the light. I have destroyed him who darkens and blinds those who are subject to him, lest they should know what they are doing, and, ashamed of their works, withdraw themselves from them, and their deeds have an end: and I have found Him whose works are light, and whose deeds are truth, of which whoever does them shall not repent. I have been set free also from him in whom falsehood abides, whom darkness as a covering goes before, and shame conducting herself impudently in idleness follows after. And I have found also Him who shows me what is beautiful, that I should lay hold of it, the Son of the truth, who is kinsman of concord, who, driving away the mist, enlightens His own creation, and heals its wounds, and overturns its enemies. But I entreat thee, O man of God, make me again to behold and see Him, now become hidden from me, that I may also hear His voice, the wonders of which I cannot declare: for it is not of the nature of this bodily organ.
And the apostle said to him: If, as thou hast also said, thou hast cast off the knowledge of those things which thou hast received, and if thou knowest who has wrought these things in thee, and if thou shalt become a disciple and hearer of Him of whom, through thy living love, thou now desirest the sight, thou shalt both see Him, and shalt be with Him for ever, and shalt rest in His rest, and shalt be in His joy. But if thou art rather carelessly disposed towards Him, and again returnest to thy former deeds, and lettest go that beauty and that beaming countenance which has now been displayed to thee, and if the splendour of the light of Him whom thou now desirest be forgotten by thee, thou shalt be deprived not only of this life, but also of that which is to come; and thou shalt go to him whom thou hast said thou hast destroyed, and shalt no longer behold Him whom thou hast said thou hast found.
And when the apostle had thus spoken, he went into the city, holding that young man by the hand, and saying to him: Those things which thou hast beheld, my child, are a few out of the many which God has: for it is not about these things that appear that the good news is brought to us, but greater things than these are promised to us; but inasmuch as we are in the body, we cannot tell and speak out what He will do for our souls. If we say that He affords us light, it is seen by us, and we have it; and if riches, they exist and appear in this world, and we name them, since it has been said, With difficulty will a rich man enter into the kingdom of the heavens.25 And if we speak of fine clothing, which they who delight in this life put on, it has been said, They that wear soft things are in kings' palaces;26 and if costly dinners, about these we have received a commandment to keep away from them, not to be burdened by carousing and drunkenness and the cares of life;27 as also in the Gospel it has been said, Take no heed for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor for your body, what ye shall put on: because the life is more than food, and the body than clothing.28 And if we speak of this rest lasting only for a season, its judgment has also been ordained. But we speak about the upper world, about God and angels, about ambrosial food, about garments that last and become not old, about those things which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath there come into the heart of sinful men what God has prepared for those that love Him.29 Do thou also therefore believe in Him, that thou mayst live; and have confidence in Him, and thou shall never die. For He is not persuaded by gifts, that thou shouldst offer them to Him; nor does He want sacrifices, that thou shouldst sacrifice to Him. But look to Him, and thou shalt not look in vain, for His comeliness and desirable beauty will make thee love Him; and neither will He allow thee to turn thyself away from Him.
And when the apostle was thus speaking to that young man, a great multitude joined them. And the apostle looked, and saw them lifting themselves up that they might see him; and they went up into elevated places. And the apostle said to them: Ye men who have come to the assembly of Christ, and who wish to believe in Jesus, take an example from this, and see that if you do not get high up, you cannot see me, who am small, and cannot get a look of me, who am like yourselves. If, then, you cannot see me, who am like yourselves, unless you raise yourselves a little from the earth, how can you see Him who lives above, and is now found below, unless you first raise yourselves out of your former behaviour, and unprofitable deeds, and troublesome desires, and the riches that are left behind here, and create things that are of the earth, and that grow old, and the garments that are destroyed, and the beauty that ages and vanishes away, yea, even out of the whole body in which all these have been stored past, and which grows old, and becomes dust, returning into its own nature? for all these things the body itself sets up.30 But rather believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, whom we proclaim to you, in order that your hope may be upon Him, and that you may have life in Him to ages of ages, that He may be your fellow-traveller in this land, and may release you from error, and may become31 a haven for you in this troublous sea. And there shall be for yon also a fountain welling out in this thirsty land, and a fold full of food in the place of the hungry, and rest for your souls, and also a physician for your bodies.
Then the multitude of those assembled that heard, wept, and said to the apostle: O man of God, as for the God whom thou proclaimest, we dare not say that we are his, because our works which we have done are alien from him, not pleasing to him; but if he has compassion upon us, and pities us, and delivers us, overlooking our former doings; and if he set us free from the evil things which we did when we were in error, and shall not take into account nor keep the recollection of our former sins, we shall become his servants, and we shall do his will to the end. And the apostle answered and said to them: He does not reckon against you the sins which you did, being in error; but He overlooks your transgressions which you have done in ignorance.32
And the apostle went into the city, all the multitude accompanying him; and he thought of going to the parents of the young man whom, when killed by the dragon, he had brought to life; for they earnestly entreated him to come to them, and to enter into their house.
And a certain woman, exceedingly beautiful, suddenly uttered a loud cry, saying: O apostle of the new God, who hast come into India, and servant of that holy and only good God-for through thee he is proclaimed the Saviour of the souls that come unto him, and through thee he heals the bodies of those that are punished by the enemy, and thou hast become the cause of life to all who turn to him-order me to be brought before thee, that I may declare to thee what has happened to me, and that perhaps there may be hope to me from thee and those who stand beside thee may have more and more hope in the God whom thou proclaimest. For I am not a little tormented by the adversary, who has assailed me for now a period of five years. As a woman, I formerly sat down in peace. and peace encompassed me on all sides and I had nothing to trouble me, for of nothing else33 had I a care. And it happened on one of the days as I was coming forth from the bath, there met me one like a man troubled and disturbed; and his voice and utterance seemed to me to be indistinct and very weak And he said, standing over against me, Thou and I shall be in one love, and we shall have intercourse with each other, as a man is coupled with his wife: And I answered him, saying, To my betrothed I consented not, entreating him not to marry me; and to thee, wishing to have intercourse with me as it were in adultery, how shall I give myself up? And having thus spoken, went away from him. And to my maid I said, Hast thou seen the young man and his shamelessness, how shamelessly and boldly he talks to me? And she said to me, It was an old man I saw talking with thee. And when I was in my own house, and had supped, my mind suggested to me some suspicion, and especially because he had appeared to me in two forms. I fell asleep, having this same thing in my thoughts. And he came that night, and made me share in his filthy commerce. And I saw him when it was day, and fled from him; but, according to his wont, he came at night and abused me. And now, as thou seest me, I have been tormented by him five years, and he has not departed from me. But I know and am persuaded that even demons, and spirits, and avenging deities, are subject to thee, and tremble at thy prayer. Pray, then, for me, and drive away from me the demon that torments me, that I also may become free, and may be brought to my former nature, and I shall receive the gift34 that has been granted to my kindred.
And the apostle said: O irrepressible wickedness: O the shamelessness of the enemy! O the sorcerer that is never at rest! O the ill-favoured one, bring to subjection the well-favoured! O the many-formed one! He appears just as he may wish, but his essence cannot be changed. O offspring of the crafty and insatiable one! O bitter tree, which also his fruits are like! O thou who art of the devil, who fights over those who do not belong to him! O thou who art of the deceit that uses shamelessness! O thou who art of the wickedness that creeps like a serpent, and art thyself his kindred! And when the apostle had thus spoken the fiend stood before him, no one seeing him but the woman and the apostle, and with a very loud voice he said in the hearing of all: What have we to do with thee, O apostle of the Most High? What have we to do with thee, O servant of Jesus Christ? What have we to do with thee, O thou that sittest in council with the Holy Spirit. Wherefore dost thou wish to destroy us, when our time has not yet come? On what account dost thou wish to take away our power? for until the present hour we have had hope and time left us.35 What have we to do with thee? Thou hast power over thine own, and we over our own. Why dost thou wish to use tyranny against us, and especially thou who teachest others not to use tyranny? Why dost thou want those who do not belong to thee, as if thou wert not satisfied with thine own? Why dost thou liken thyself to the Son of God, who has done us hurt? For thou art like him altogether, just as if thou hadst been brought forth by him. For we thought to bring him also under the yoke, like the rest; but he turned, and held us under his hand. For we did not know him; but he deceived us by the form which he had put on, and his poverty and his want; for when we saw him such, we thought him to be a man clothed with flesh, not knowing that it was he who makes men live. And he gave us power over our own, and, in the time in which we live, not to let our own go, but to employ ourselves about them. But thou wishest to get more than is necessary, or than has been given thee, and to overpower us.
And having thus spoken, the demon wept, saying: I let thee go, my most lovely yoke-fellow,36 whom I found long ago and was at rest; I leave thee, my beloved and trusty sister, in whom I was well pleased. What I shall do I know not, or whom I shall call upon to hear me and protect me. I know what I shall do. I shall go to some place where the fame of this man has not been heard, and perhaps I shall call thee, my beloved, by a new name.37 And lifting up his voice, he said: Abide in peace, having received an asylum with a greater than I; but I, as I have said, will go away and seek thy like, and if I find her not I shall again return to thee: for I know that when thou art beside this man, thou hast an asylum in him; but when he has gone away, thou shalt be as thou wast before he made his appearance, and him indeed wilt thou forget, and to me there will again be opportunity and boldness; but now I am afraid of the name of him who has delivered thee. And having thus said, the demon disappeared. And just when he had disappeared, fire and smoke were seen there, and all there present were struck with amazement.
And the apostle seeing this, said to them: Nothing strange or unusual has that demon shown, but his own nature, in which also he shall be burnt up; for the fire shall consume him, and the smoke of him shall be scattered abroad. And he began to say: O Jesus Christ, the secret mystery which has been revealed to us, Thou art He who disclosest to us all manner of mysteries, who hast set me apart from all my companions, and who hast told me three words with which I am set on fire, and I cannot tell them to others; O Jesus, man slain, dead, buried; Jesus, God of God, and Saviour who bringest the dead to life, and healest those who are diseased; O Jesus, who appearest to be in want, and savest as if in want of nothing, catching the fishes for the morning and the evening meal, and establishing all in abundance with a little bread; Jesus, who didst rest from the toil of the journey as a man, and walk upon the waves as God;38 Jesus Most High, voice arising from perfect compassion, Saviour of all, the right hand of the light overthrowing him that is wicked in his own kind, and bringing all his kind into one place; Thou who art only begotten, the first-born of many brethren,39 God of God Most High, man despised until now; Jesus Christ, who overlookest us not when we call upon Thee; who hast been shown forth to all in Thy human life; who for our sakes hast been judged and kept in prison, and freest all that are in bonds; who hast been called a deceiver,40 and who deliverest Thine own from deception: I entreat Thee in behalf of those standing and entreating Thee, and those that believe in Thee; for they pray to obtain Thy gifts, being of good hope in Thine aid, occupying Thy place of refuge in Thy majesty; they give audience, so as to hear from us the words that have been spoken to them. Let Thy peace come and dwell in them, that they may be purified from their former deeds, and may put off the old man with his deeds, and put on the new now declared to them by me.41
And having laid his hands on them, he blessed them, saying: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be upon you for ever!42 And they said, Amen. And the woman begged of him, saying: Apostle of the Most High, give me the seal, that that foe may not come back upon me again. Then he made her come near him; and putting his hand upon her, he sealed her in the name of Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost. And many others also were sealed along with her. And the apostle ordered his servant43 to set out a table; and they set out a bench44 which they found there. And having spread a linen cloth upon it, he put on it the bread of the blessing. And the apostle standing by it, said: Jesus Christ, Son of God, who hast deemed us worthy to communicate of the Eucharist of Thy sacred body and honourable blood, behold, we are emboldened by the thanksgiving45 and invocation of Thy sacred name; come now, and communicate with us. And he began to say: Come, perfect compassion; come, communion with mankind; come, Thou that knowest the mysteries of the chosen one; come, Thou that communicatest in all the combats46 of the noble combatant; come, peace that revealest the great things of all greatness; come, Thou that disclosest secrets, and makest manifest things not to be spoken; the sacred dove which has brought forth twin young; come, thou secret mother; come, Thou who art manifest in Thy deeds, and givest joy and rest to those who are united to Thee; come and communicate with us in this Eucharist, which we make in The name, and in the love47 in which we are united in calling upon Thee.48 And having thus said, he made the sign of the cross upon the bread, and broke it, and began to distribute it. And first he gave it to the woman, saying: This shall be to thee for remission of sins, and the ransom of everlasting transgressions. And after her, he gave also to all the others who had received the seal.
And there was a certain young man who had done a nefarious deed; and having come to the apostle, he took the bread of the Eucharist into his mouth, and his two hands immediately withered, so that he could no longer bring them to his mouth. And those who were present and saw him told the apostle what had happened. And he, having summoned him, said: Tell me, my child, and be ashamed of nothing,49 what thou hast done, and why thou hast come hither; for the Eucharist of the Lord has convicted thee. For this gracious gift coming to many is especially healing to those who approach it through faith and love; but thee it has withered away, and what has happened has happened not without some working cause. And the young man who had been convicted by the Eucharist of the Lord came up, and fell at the apostle's feet, and prayed him, saying: An evil deed has been done by me, yet I thought to do something good. I was in love with a certain woman living outside of the city in an inn, and she loved me. And I having heard from thee, and believed that thou proclaimest the living God, came and received the seal from thee along with the others; and thou saidst, Whoever shall indulge in filthy intercourse, and especially in adultery, shall not have life with the God whom I proclaim.50 Since, then, I altogether loved her, I begged of her, and persuaded her to live with me in chaste and pure intercourse, as thou thyself teachest; but she would not. When therefore she would not, I took a sword and killed her; for I could not see her living in adultery with another.
The apostle, having heard this, said: O maddening intercourse, into what shamelessness dost thou lead! O unrestrained lust, how hast thou brought him into subjection to do this! O work of the serpent, how dost thou rage in thine own! And the apostle ordered water to be brought him in a dish. And when the water had been brought, he said: Come waters from the living waters, existing from the existing, and sent to us; the fountain sent to us from repose, the power of salvation coming froth that power that subdues all things, and subjects them to its own will; come and dwell in these waters, that the gracious gift of the Holy Spirit may be fully perfected in them. And he said to the young man: Go, wash thy hands in these waters. And when he had washed, they were restored. And the apostle said to him: Dost thou believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, that He can do all things? And he said: Even though I am least of all, I believe; but this I did, thinking to do a good thing: for I implored her, as also I told thee; but she would not be persuaded by me to keep herself chaste.
And the apostle said to him: Come, let us go to the inn where thou didst this deed, and let us see what has happened. And the young man went before the apostle on the road; and when they came to the inn, they found her lying. And the apostle, seeing her, was disheartened, for she was a beautiful maiden; and he ordered her to be brought into the middle of the inn. And having put her on a Couch, they brought it, and set it in the midst of the court-yard of the inn. And the apostle laid his hand on her, and began to say: Jesus, who always appearest to us-for this Thou always wishest, that we should seek Thee-and Thou Thyself hast given us this power of asking and receiving;51 and not only hast Thou given us this, but hast also taught us how to pray;52 who art not seen by bodily eyes, but who art not altogether hidden from those of our soul, and who art hidden in Thy form, but manifested to us by Thy works; and by Thy many deeds we have recognised Thee as we go on, and Thou hast given us Thy gifts without measure, saying, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.53 We pray, therefore, having suspicion of our sins;54 and we ask of Thee not riches, nor gold, nor silver, nor possessions, nor any of those things that come from the earth and go into the earth again; but this we beg of Thee, and entreat that in Thy holy name Thou raise this woman lying here by Thy power, to the glory and faith of those standing by.
And when he had thus prayed, he sealed the young man, and said to him: Go, and take her by the hand, and say to her, I through my hands killed thee with the sword;55 and again I raise thee by my hands, in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. And the young man went and stood by her, saying: I have believed in Thee, O Christ Jesus. And looking upon Judas Thomas the apostle, he said to him: Pray for me, that my Lord, upon whom also I call, may come to my help. And having laid his hand on her hand, he said: Come, Lord Jesus Christ, giving this woman life, and me the earnest of Thy faith. And immediately, as he drew her hand, she sprang up, and sat, looking at the great multitude standing round. And she also saw the apostle standing opposite to her; and having left the couch, she sprang up, and fell at his feet, and took hold of his garments, saying: I pray thee, my lord, where is that other who is with thee, who has not left me to remain in that fearful and grievous place, but has given me up to thee, saying, Do thou take her, that she may be made perfect, and thereafter brought into her own place?
And the apostle says to her: Tell us where thou hast been. And she answered: Dost thou, who wast with me, to whom also I was entrusted, wish to hear? And she began to say: A certain man received me, hateful in appearance, all black, and his clothing exceedingly filthy; and he led me away to a place where there were many chasms, and a great stench and most hateful odour were given forth thence; and he made me bend down into each chasm, and I saw in the chasm blazing fire; and wheels of fire ran there, and souls were hung upon those wheels, and were dashed against each other. And there was there crying and great lamentation, and there was none released. And that man said to me, These souls are of thine own nation, and for a certain number of days56 they have been given over to punishment and torture; and then others are brought in instead of them; and likewise also these are again succeeded by others. These are they who have exchanged the intercourse of man and wife. And again I looked down, and saw infants heaped upon each other, and struggling and lying upon each other; and he answered and said to me, These are their children, and for this have they been placed here for a testimony against them.
And he brought me to another chasm, and I bent down and saw mud, and worms spouting forth, and souls wallowing there; and a great gnashing of teeth was heard thence from them. And that man said to me, These are the souls of women that left their own husbands, and went and committed adultery with others, and who have been brought to this torment. He showed me another chasm, into which I bent down and saw souls hung up, some by the tongue, some by the hair, some by the hands, some by the feet, head downwards, and smoked with smoke and sulphur; about whom that man who was with me answered me, These souls which are hung up by the tongue are slanderers, and such as have uttered false and disgraceful words; those that are hung up by the hair57 are those that are shameless, and that have gone about with uncovered heads in the world; these hung up by the hands are those who have taken what belongs to others, and have stolen, and who have never given anything to the poor, nor assisted the afflicted; but they so acted, wishing to get everything, and giving no heed at all to justice and the laws; and these hung up by the feet are those who lightly and eagerly ran in wicked ways, and disorderly wickedness, not looking after the sick, and not aiding those departing this life, and on account of this each individual soul is requited for what has been done by it.
Again leading me away, he showed me a cavern, exceedingly dark, exhaling a great stench; and many souls were peeping out thence, wishing to get some share of the air, but their keepers would not let them peep out. And he who was with me said, This is the prison of those souls which thou seest; for when they shall complete their punishments for those things which each one has done, afterwards again others succeed them-and there are some also quite used up-and are given up to other punishments. Those, then, who guarded the souls that were in the dark cave said to the man that had charge of me, Give her to us, that we may take her in beside the others, until the time comes for her to be given up to punishment. And he answered them, I will not give her to you, for I am afraid of him who gave her up to me; for I received no orders to leave her here, and I shall take her up with me until I get some injunction about her. And he took me and brought me to another place, in which were men who were bitterly tortured. And he that is like thee took me and gave me up to thee, having thus said to thee, Take her, since she is one of the creatures that have been led astray. And I was taken by thee, and am now before thee. I beg, therefore, and supplicate thee that I may not go into those places of punishment which I saw.
And the apostle said to the multitudes standing by: You have heard, brethren, what this woman has recounted; and these are not the only punishments, but there are others worse than these; and if you do not turn to this God whom I proclaim, and refrain from your former works and deeds which you have done without knowledge, in these punishments you shall have your end. Believe, therefore, in our Lord Jesus Christ, and He will forgive you the sins done by you heretofore, and will purify you from all the bodily desires that abide in the earth, and will heal you from the faults that follow after you, and go along with you, and are found before you. And let each of you put off the old man, and put on the new, and leave your former course of conduct and behaviour; and let those that steal steal no more, but let them live, labouring and working;58 and let the adulterers no more commit adultery, lest they give themselves up to everlasting punishment; for adultery is with God an evil altogether grievous above other evils. Put away also from yourselves covetousness, and lying, and drunkenness, and slandering, and requiting evil for evil: for all these are alien and strange to the God proclaimed by us; but rather live in faith, and meekness, and holiness, and hope, in which God rejoices, that ye may become His servants, having received from Him gracious gifts, which few or none receive.
All the people therefore believed, and presented their souls obedient to the living God and Christ Jesus, enjoying His blessed works, and His holy service. And they brought much money for the service of the widows; for he had them collected in the cities, and he sent to all of them by his own servants59 what was necessary, both clothing and food. But he did not cease proclaiming and saying to them, and showing that this is Jesus the Christ, concerning whom the Scriptures proclaimed that He should come, and be crucified, and be raised from the dead after three days. And he showed them a second time, beginning from the prophets, and explaining the things concerning Christ, and that it was necessary for Him to come, and for all things to be fulfilled that had been said to us beforehand concerning Him.60
And the report of him ran through all the cities and countries; and all who had persons sick or tormented by unclean spirits brought them, and they were healed. Some also they laid on the road by which he was to pass, and he healed them all by the power of the Lord.61 Then said all with one accord who had been healed by him, with one voice: Glory to Thee, Jesus, who givest Thy healing to all alike by means of Thy servant and apostle Thomas. And being in good health, and rejoicing, we pray Thee that we may be of Thy flock, and be numbered among Thy sheep; receive us, therefore, O Lord, and consider not our transgressions and former offences which we did, being in ignorance.
And the apostle said: Glory to the only-begotten from the Father;62 glory to the first-born of many brethren;63 Glory to Thee, the defender and helper of those who come to Thy place of refuge; Thou that sleepest not, and raisest those that are asleep; that livest and bringest to life those that are lying in death; O God Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, redeemer and helper, refuge and rest of all that labour in Thy work, who affordest health to those who for Thy name's sake bear the burden of the day, and the icy coldness of the night; we give thanks for the gracious gifts that have been given us by Thee, and for the help from Thee bestowed upon us, and Thy providential care that has come upon us froth Thee. Perfect these things upon us, therefore, unto the end, that we may have confidence in Thee; look upon us, because for Thy sake we have left our homes, and for Thy sake have become strangers gladly and willingly; look upon us, O Lord, because for Thy sake we have abandoned our possessions, that we may have Thee for a possession that shall not be taken away; look upon us, O Lord, because we have left those related to us by ties of kindred in order that we may be united in relationship to Thee; look upon us, O Lord, who have left our fathers and mothers, and those that nourished us, that we may behold Thy Father, and be satisfied with His divine nourishment: look upon us, O Lord, because for Thy sake we have left our bodily yoke-fellows,64 and our earthly fruit, in order that we may share in that intercourse which is lasting and true, and bring forth true fruits, whose nature is from above, the enjoyment of which no one can take away from us, with which we abide, and they abide with us.