translated by G. S. R. Mead
Mary questioneth the Saviour.It came to pass then, when Jesus had finished saying these words unto his disciples, that Mary came forward and said to the Saviour: "My Lord, will then a righteous man who is perfected in all righteousness, and that man who hath no sin at all, will such an one be tormented in the chastisements and judgments or not? Or will rather that man be brought into the kingdom of heaven or not?"
Of the soul of the righteous man who hath not received the mysteries at death.And the Saviour answered and said unto Mary: "A righteous man who is perfected in all righteousness and who hath never committed any sin of any kind, and such an one who never hath received mysteries of the Light, if the time is at hand when he goeth forth out of the body, then straightway come the receivers of one of the great triple-powers,--those among whom there is a great [one],--snatch away the soul of that man from the hands of the retributive receivers and spend three days circling with it in all the creatures of the world. After three days they lead it down into the chaos, so as to lead it into all the chastisements of the judgments and to dispatch it to all the judgments. The fires of the chaos do not trouble it greatly; but they will trouble it partly for a short time.
"And with haste they take pity on it quickly, to lead it up out of the chaos and lead it on the
way of the midst through all the rulers. And they [sc. the rulers] do not chastize it in their harsh judgments, but the fire of their regions troubleth it partly. And if it shall be brought into the region of Yachthanabas, the pitiless, then will he indeed not be able to chastize it in his evil judgments, but he holdeth it fast a short time, while the fire of his chastisements troubleth it partly.
And again they take pity on it quickly, and lead it up out of those regions of theirs and they do not bring it into the æons, so that the rulers of the æons do not carry it away ravishingly; they bring it on the way of the sun and bring it before the Virgin of Light. She proveth it and findeth that it is pure of sins, but letteth them not bring it to the Light, because the sign of the kingdom of the mystery is not with it. But she sealeth it with a higher seal and letteth it be cast down into the body |263. into the æons of righteousness,--that body which will be good to find the signs of the mysteries of the Light and inherit the Light-kingdom for ever.
"If on the contrary he hath sinned once or twice or thrice, then will he be cast back into the world again according to the type of the sins which he hath committed, the type of which I will tell you when I shall have told you the expansion of the universe.
"But amēn, amēn, I say unto you: Even if a righteous man hath committed no sins at all, he cannot possibly be brought into the Light-kingdom, because the sign of the kingdom of the mysteries is not with him. In a word, it is impossible to bring souls into the Light without the mysteries of the Light-kingdom."
Return to the Gnostic Society Library