translated by G. S. R. Mead
John continueth his questioning.When then the Saviour had said this, John continued again and said to the Saviour: "My Lord, suppose an exceedingly sinful brother who hath renounced the whole world and the whole matter therein and all its sins and all its cares, and we shall prove him and know that he is not in deceit and play-acting but that in uprightness and in truth he longeth [after God], and we know that he hath become worthy of the mysteries of the second space or of the third,--desirest thou that we give him of the mysteries of the second space and of the third, before he hath at all received mysteries of the Inheritance of the Light or not? Desirest thou that we give or not?"
Further of the forgiveness of sins.And the Saviour answered and said unto John in the midst of the disciples: "If ye know with certainty that that man |270. hath renounced the whole world and all its cares and all its associations and all its sins, and if ye know in truth that he
is not in deceit, neither that he was play-acting nor that he was curious to know the mysteries, how they are brought to pass, but that he longeth after God in truth, hide them not from such an one, but give him of the mysteries of the second and third space and try even of what mystery he is worthy; and that of which he is worthy, give him and hide it not from him, for if ye hide it from him, ye may be guilty of a great condemnation.
"If ye give him once [of the mysteries] of the second space or of the third and he turneth again and sinneth, ye are to continue again the second time up to the third time. If he still sinneth, ye shall not continue to give him, for those three mysteries will be witnesses unto him for his last repentance. And amēn, I say unto you: He who shall give that man anew mysteries of the second space or of the third, is guilty of a great condemnation. But let him be for you as a transgressor and as a stumbling-block.
"Amēn, I say unto you: The soul of that man cannot be cast back into the world |271. from this moment onwards; but his habitation is in the midst of the jaws of the dragon of the outer darkness, the region of howling and grinding of teeth. And at the dissolution of the world his soul will be frozen up [?] and perish in the violent cold and exceedingly violent fire and will be non-existent eternally.
"Even if he yet again turneth and renounceth the whole world and all its cares and all its sins, and he is in great citizenship and great repentance, no mystery can receive from him his repentance; nor can it hearken unto him, to have mercy
upon him and receive his repentance and forgive his sins, save the mystery of the First Mystery and the mystery of the Ineffable. It is these alone which will receive the repentance of that man and forgive his sins; for in sooth those mysteries are compassionate and merciful-minded and forgiving of sins at every time."
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